Spectacular events showcase Dockside Vaults opens for bookings

Ready to spearhead a new era of hospitality in the capital, it is part of the only original warehouse left in St Katharine Docks Marina.

The 160-year-old Grade 11 listed cellar network had previously housed a restaurant that folded and had then stood empty for months.

But it was the spaciousness of the atmospheric site – 10,000 sq ft of magnificent raw brick, gloriously curved ceilings, a concourse, pillars and nooks, that ignited entrepreneur Ben Gamble’s imagination.

That led to him founding the new company and name – Dockside Vaults – that holds the new lease with a capacity to host 450.  

After £400,000 of investment and 18 months of renovations, the cellar’s extraordinary architectural aesthetics have combined with a state-of-the art digital and streaming system and a brand-new kitchen where Michelin star restaurant trained chef Richard Lloyd will oversee the catering.

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With everything ready to wow guests, the company is forecasting a £1.8 million turnover for 2024/25. The corporate market is its prime focus and strategic partnerships a central part of the plan. 

“For example these are hotels who can refer business to us and add value,” explains Gamble.

“Given our setting as central London’s only marina, there are other natural synergies. We aim to integrate the venue into existing events such as the London Luxury Afloat Show and London International Shipping Week.

“We are also working with the best promoters involved in events such as the Oktoberfest beer festival and the Rugby World Cup. 

“We’ve a fantastic blank canvas to offer clients that they use in any way they choose. As all our production (sound and lighting) and catering is in-house we can work with them to push the boundaries.”

It was struggles with a previous venture during the pandemic that decided Gamble to strengthen his business knowledge and study online for the prestigious Global MBA degree offered by University College London. 

“Clients were very understanding and the degree gave me mental focus,” he says. “I realised how much I love events and places, it’s a real people’s industry. Then I saw the possibility of Dockside’s site, so near to the City, to give it a new lease of life and value.

“There were a lot of planning and regulatory hoops, but Tower Hamlets council was very helpful.”

As well as exclusive events, the company is also exploring how to offer shared packages to two separate parties. “It may even be that guests from each group will then mingle and make new friends during the course of an evening,” reflects Gamble.

Twenty new jobs have been created with more trade for local businesses. “We are sourcing locally and sustainably as our clients would expect,” he adds.

And Dockside Vaults is just the start of the celebrations mission for Gamble whose plan “is to open 10 more event spaces in London over the next decade”.

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