The Mayor of London has announced plans to establish Creative Enterprise Zones across the capital to ensure artists, creative talent and communities can thrive.
Across London, from Hackney to Peckham, the role of creative communities in revitalising areas has been proven, but often they are displaced from the neighbourhoods they have helped regenerate.
Rising rents, increased property prices and the decline of affordable workspace have all contributed to the pressure on creative communities, with London predicted to lose 30% of affordable creative workspace by 2019.
Creative Enterprise Zones, the brainchild of Khan, are a brand-new initiative designed help creatives put down roots and establish themselves in local areas.
The mayor will work with boroughs to offer incentives such as permanent affordable workspace and relief from business rates.
The plan follows a similar model to Enterprise Zones, areas set up to create the best possible conditions for businesses to thrive.
He is now calling on boroughs to bid for one of ten £50,000 grants to develop their own zones as part of this ground-breaking plan.
A Creative Enterprise Zone research project has already been carried out in Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey.
Here, creative industries have flourished and grown by 127% in the past five years, but there remains pressure on affordable creative space in the area.
Khan said: “Our creative industries make a huge contribution to London’s reputation as an open, creative and diverse city and this success is largely thanks to our wealth of creative talent.
“We cannot afford to lose our artists and creative businesses - they power our economy and bring people together across communities.
“Too often artists and small businesses find themselves priced out of the very city they help bring to life.
“Creative Enterprise Zones are a bold new initiative for London and will help to secure our future as a cultural capital.”
Nick Serota, chair of Arts Council England, said: “Affordable work and live-work space in London is crucial for artists and small creative enterprises.
“I strongly support the mayor‘s determination to create zones where creative practitioners and businesses can flourish and be part of the community.”
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