A scheme to turn a group of run-down industrial buildings into a showcase for illustration has been given planning permission. Islington Council approved the scheme by arts museum, the House of Illustration to create a new exhibition space with workshops and a cafe.

Included in the venue will be an archive of the works of one of the UK’s best-loved artists, Sir Quentin Blake. Sir Quentin recently celebrated 70 years as an illustrator and is best known for his work on Roald Dahl’s books including the BFG and Matilda.

The project will regenerate a group of Grade II-listed buildings at New River Head, off Amwell Street, which have been derelict for more than 70 years. The site includes what is left of one of London’s last remaining windmills. New River Head is named after a waterway, created in the early 17th century to supply London with clean drinking water. The new centre will also share the story of these historic buildings.

Award-winning Tim Ronalds Architects, who restored Wilton’s Music Hall in east London, will work on the centre.

The House of Illustration’s director, Lindsey Glen said: “Illustration helps us to understand, to learn and share stories, examine the past, imagine the future.”

“This is a proposal that brings substantial benefits to the borough,” she added, “including bringing the curriculum to life, signposting young people to creative careers, giving a voice to some of the most marginalised in our community, and uncovering the stories of a place that has been hidden for over 70 years.”

Vice chair of Islington Council’s planning committee, Cllr Dave Poyser, said: “I think it is a very, very exciting application for Islington’s future.”

Read more about this story in the Islington Gazette.