William Chamberlain is a solicitor and social entrepreneur who, for the past ten years, has been developing a range of creative place-making and inclusive regeneration projects to help establish Hackney Wick and Fish Island in East London as a permanent, sustainable, creative economy alongside the large-scale redevelopment of the area surrounding the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
He first became familiar with the area as an undergraduate at Queen Mary, University of London where he studied urban geography. He qualified as a Solicitor in 2001 and has worked for a number of boutique media, entertainment and sport law practices. He was a member of the London 2012 Olympic bid team and moved to Hackney Wick in 2008 to find one of the world’s highest densities of artists and creative practitioners living and working next to the Olympic Park.
In 2009, he incorporated Hackney Wicked CIC, the social enterprise that runs the annual Hackney Wicked Art Festival and helped organise the first two Hackney Wick Creative Forums. In 2010 he founded Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery which he directed for three years and also founded the Hackney Wick and Fish Island Cultural Interest Group, business-to-business networking forum that still meets each month to engage local stakeholders, businesses, institutions and residents to facilitate networking, resource sharing and collaboration and welcome new arrivals with the shared aim of building a permanent, sustainable creative economy in Hackney Wick and Fish Island.
In 2013 he incorporated Hackney Wick and Fish Island CIC and in 2014 he provided consultancy services to The Trampery on the Fish Island Labs project that brought the Barbican to Hackney Wick to encourage innovation at the intersection between the arts and technology.
In 2015 he founded Creative Wick, a creative regeneration agency and consultancy that works to facilitate a permanent, sustainable, creative economy for local residents, businesses and institutions with an interest in the long-term viability and continued authenticity of the arts, culture and creativity in Hackney Wick, Fish Island and the wider East London area.
In 2016 he was awarded a studentship by Loughborough University London to research a part-time, practice based PhD in models of permanent, sustainable creative economy.
In 2017 he co-founded the Hackney Wick & Fish Island Community Development Trust and in 2018 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation to help write the application for Hackney Wick and Fish Island to be designated as one of London’s first Creative Enterprise Zones under a new GLA initiative.