Eyewitness Works to host Channel 4 design contest

Taylor’s Eyewitness was founded in the early 19th century and have been producing kitchen knives, pocket knives, scissors and sharpeners for over 150 years. Image: Capital & Centric

Taylor’s Eyewitness Works, a former cutlery factory, on Milton Street, is currently being transformed into 97 loft apartments and townhouses as part of a £21m restoration.

The developer Capital&Centric has partnered with Channel 4 and Remarkable TV for a new peak time interior design show to be filmed this summer.

The series, which has a working title of Design Your Dream, will see contestants each assigned an empty apartment within Eyewitness Works to showcase their design talent. They will be judged on their performance in a series of design challenges and skills within the apartment and elsewhere.

The winner of the competition will become the owner of a two-bedroom Capital&Centric loft apartment at the development.

The buildings had been used by Taylor’s Eyewitness until 2018, where skilled craftsmen produced pocket knives, scissors and kitchen knives. Image: Capital&Centric

The Grade II listed building was built in phases between about 1855 and 1890, alongside high density housing interspersed with manufacturing works.  

The Taylor’s trademark was registered in 1838 and the company merged with James Veall in 1876 and Tyzack’s in 1879 to become Needham, Veall and Tyzack. During the 1960s the company became Taylor’s Eye Witness. It was later bought by Harrison Fisher & Co, which changed its name to Taylor’s Eye Witness Limited.

The “Eyewitness” trademark was first registered in 1838 – the inspiration for the choice of “Eyewitness” is believed to be Shakespeare’s line in Henry IV – “No eye hath seen better”.

The setting of the cutlery works became fragmented during the mid to late twentieth century when much of the adjoining high-density residential neighbourhood was cleared and several adjacent sites remain undeveloped.

Eyewitness will also be home to four lush, green courtyards and cafe bar. Image: Capital&Centric