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Dock 10: an extended pop-up venue in London’s Canada Water

New London venue Dock 10 opens as VenueLabs extends its portfolio.

It seems my life is ruled by SatNav. This morning, out comes my phone to find the latest new venue, and I dutifully typed in Dock 10, Canada Water.

Even though it went against my better judgement, I followed the little blue guiding light on my phone screen, which took me in the opposite direction. Luckily, those kind people at VenueLabs had provided a map which proved much more helpful. So sometimes the old-fashioned way is the one which works.

Perhaps one of the reasons why the SatNav didn’t work is because Canada Water is a relatively new area, with buildings, shopping centres, new facilities springing up all the time, so poor old new technology just can’t cope.

This area of south-east London was known back in the day for light engineering works, and indeed, Canada Water once housed chemical factories. Gradually, all of these industries moved out and it was something of a no man’s land until the early 1990s.

But since the rise of Canary Wharf, Canada Water has benefited from its proximity, and the former Rotherhithe dock has become a regeneration zone.

Anyone searching for Dock 10, head for Decathlon sports store, which is two minutes from Canada Water underground station. Once you know which direction to walk in, its pretty obvious where the venue is because there is a huge Dock 10 sign over the door. Even I couldn’t fail to miss it.

Inside, it’s a huge, hangar-like space, clocking in at 34,102 sq feet. It’s light and spacious – and also surprisingly warm as these places tend to be draughty and like an enormous fridge-freezer. But VenueLabs installed heaters which have certainly sorted out that problem.

VenueLabs has already tested it out as they had a party for 400 kids. Forget about raves. The decibel and chaos caused by 10 year-olds knows no bounds.

The first official event at Dock 10 is being held by Time Out, who are cosying up with Deliveroo at the beginning of December to hold one mother of a cooking event.

There were plenty of prospective clients checking out the 2,000-capacity industrial space, taking a look at the cooking facilities in the back.

Dock 10 used to be a Decathlon building, which has a huge building next door. VenueLabs has taken out a lease for 18 months and then it will be turned into – yes, you’ve guessed it – luxury flats. VenueLabs is also launching Magazine London close by, in Greenwich Peninsula. A complete coincidence, apparently. The south-east London borough of Greenwich has that rare thing – space – a much valued commodity in the city of London. And I’m guessing much cheaper than anything north of the river.

I rather like the idea of having an extended pop-up venue. Buyers are always on the hunt for something new, and this may well satisfy that craving.