12 months ago

Interview: Coldharbour Industries

We caught up with Liam & Josh, owners of Coldharbour industries, a Brixton-based building company who specialise in theatre and events.

How did Coldharbour Industries begin?

Josh: Me and Liam met at university at drama school. We both did different things but after that we ended up going into the scenic and construction industry working freelance for many years. The pandemic hit us pretty hard. We both had to go work for DPD as couriers and then after that we decided, right, we don’t want to work as freelancers anymore, we’ll start our own thing. We found where we wanted to be which was in Brixton, just off Coldharbour Lane. And then the names came organically after that.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Liam: The problem solving, the people… and it’s just good fun. 

Josh: No day is ever the same, no set is ever the same. 

Liam: It’s kind of like making a big Art Attack, you know? It’s always pretty cool. 

What have been your favourite projects to date?

Liam: We just did a private jet that went over to Saudi Arabia, a plane on a plane. Pretty mental. It’s an immersive experience called Fame Factory where you’re famous for the day. We built a plane and then you felt like you were taking off, going through the air and landing on the red carpet. We built the inside, the fuselage, the nose cone and the wing. As you can see it’s not too big in here. 

Josh: So you know, it took up the whole space which was kind of interesting. And then you pack it all down into crates and ship it off. It was quite an achievement for us on so many different levels. We definitely hit milestones for the business.

Have you had any particularly challenging requests?

Josh: Every single one of them’s got its own challenge. We come mainly from a theatre background, so there’s a lot of flats pulling together that makes things. On the back of the flats, its just fakeness, but you make it look good, and we’re really good at that. But every now and then, just like the plane, it’s something new.

Liam: Someone throws you a curveball every now and then. 

Josh: And every time we grow as a company there’s other challenges. If there’s something we don’t know, we know someone that might know how to do it. That’s what’s great about this industry.

What are you currently working on?

Liam: This one called The Dry House. Pretty sure it’s like an Irish thing about sobriety, I might be wrong. It’s going in the Marylebone Theatre. Its mainly a staircase with a window and then there’s a big roof on it. It’s like a box set basically. 

Josh: This is just basically the downstairs of the house, this is a 70 style staircase and this is a 70 style room. Eventually we get with a scenic artist and you won’t be able to tell the difference.

What makes Brixton special to you?

Liam: It’s just the vibe man. Brixton’s Brixton. It’s creative. It’s full of culture. Good food, it’s always amazing. And the whole Coldharbour Lane is a famous thing. So yeah, as soon as we found a workshop close to there, it all just became, well… that was the start of story wasn’t it?

Josh: I’d say the food is one of my favourite things. Just everything, I love it.


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