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East London’s changing economy

Enquiry question: How is the economy of east London changing?
Learning objectives

    Knowledge and understanding

    • The basis of east London’s economy was once manufacturing industry
    • This changed with the closure of the docks and Dockland and Olympic regeneration
    • Manufacturing industry has almost gone, to be replaced by financial and creative industries

      Geographical skills

      • Annotated field sketch
      • Questionnaire about jobs
      • Land use mapping
      • Business location assessment
      Pre-visit recommendation

      Students read about economic change in east London, including the closure of the docks and decline of manufacturing industry.


      Sheet 1: Economic change in east London


      Meet at Canary Wharf station. Point out the docks that were once filled with boats, which brought many of the raw materials used by manufacturing industry in east London. Look at old photos of docks.

      Visit Docklands Museum to find out about the docks decline and regeneration, to put the main events in order on a timeline. Identify the museum in one old photo.


      Sheet 2: Old photos of east London

      Sheet 3: Docklands timeline


      Location 1: West India Dock Students draw and annotate a field sketch to show evidence of past and present economic activities, including the dock, cranes, warehouses, international banks and new building construction. Locate site for sketch on Docklands map.

      Location 2: Canary Wharf station Students carry out a questionnaire with workers to find out which economic sector they work in and what type of job they do.

      Then, travel by TfL to Hackney Wick via Stratford.

      Location 3: Hackney Wick Working in groups, walk around the area to map land use, including residential, retail, leisure, creative and manufacturing industry. Look at old photos of Hackney Wick. Identify evidence of past manufacturing industry and locate on the map. Take photos of evidence.

      Location 4: Here East Walk to Here East, where students assess its suitability as a location for a new business. Students work in a group, each group choosing one business for which they carry out the assessment.


      Sheet 4: Docklands map

      Sheet 5: Employment questionnaire

      Sheet 6: Hackney Wick map

      Sheet 7: Hackney Wick land use

      Sheet 8: Business location assessment

      Sheet 9: Here East summary


      Compare and contrast Canary Wharf and Hackney Wick/Here East as locations for economic activities. Consider what industries were there before, when and why they declined, the need for regeneration, the type of regeneration and what new industries have emerged.


      Sheet 10: Canary Wharf/Hackney Wick comparison

      Footer image of Stratford
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      Footer image of Stratford