In 1990 the building was converted into a shopping centre which cost £47 million to develop and was intended to create the Covent Garden of the East End but the scheme was unsuccessful and it went into administration. The property is not in a major retail area and has only moderately good public transport access. Since the mid 1990s the building has been almost entirely unoccupied with the only tenant being a sandwich shop, and a plan to convert it into a factory outlet did not come to fruition. However the site is still highly maintained which includes the employment of cleaners, a full time security staff and even a kestrel to discourage pigeons from this site.
The whole building is occasionally used for large scale corporate events such as the Vodafone and ABN AMRO 2005 annual staff party. In early 2004, part of the building was used as the studios of the Channel 4 reality television show Shattered. Several after-première parties for films have been held there. Scenes in Episode 6 of 2008 BBC One drama Ashes to Ashes were filmed at Tobacco Dock which was set in 1981 despite the centre only being developed for its failed use as a shopping centre in 1990.
A new and dynamic team is now marketing the venue with a view of making it London’s premier exhibition space.
Visit www.tobaccodocklondon.com to find out more about this historical and amazing venue deep in the heart of Wapping, London.