Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Khan announces shortlist for first-ever Creative Enterprise Zones

Sadiq Khan has announced a shortlist of 10 submissions that will each receive a grant of £50,000 to develop their plans to become Creative Enterprise Zones.

The 10 submissions represent 11 boroughs (Hackney and Tower Hamlets submitted a joint bid for a Creative Enterprise Zone located across a borough boundary).

This new initiative, one of Khan’s key manifesto priorities, will help creatives put down roots, establish themselves in local areas, attract new artists and creative businesses, and develop skills in local people.

Across London, from Hackney to Croydon, 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.

In total 25 boroughs applied, demonstrating the level of interest in this new initiative. The successful submissions came from:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Bexley
  • Camden
  • Croydon
  • Harrow
  • Hounslow
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets and Hackney

These boroughs will be able to build on work carried out by the London Borough of Haringey, who carried out a Creative Enterprise Zone pathfinder research project in Tottenham in 2017. 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.

The boroughs, along with the Haringey Tottenham Pathfinder, will now undertake research and develop action plans to help them to formulate their vision for their individual Creative Enterprise Zone. They will then be invited to put bids forward for further funding in Summer 2018 to become one of three designated Creative Enterprise Zones later in the year.

The Mayor said: “Artists and creative businesses around London breathe life into every corner of our city – but too often they find themselves unable to put down roots due to the spiralling cost of housing and workspace. This is a real problem that threatens to undermine London’s position as the world’s creative capital.

“Creative Enterprise Zones offer a real, practical solution to this problem – with the potential of locally reduced business rates, incentives to open up new spaces and initiatives that really value the contribution that creatives make to our capital. They will also bring new jobs to the area, encouraging local young people to develop careers in the creative industries.

“Congratulations to the boroughs who’ve received grants to develop their plans. I look forward to following their progress.”

Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said: “London’s creative workforce is central to our success as a city that people want to live in, do business and visit. They often see the potential of overlooked, unloved neighbourhoods and turn them into up-and-coming creative hubs, often raising land values in the process. But this success often means house prices increase and the area is redeveloped, pushing out the creative community.

“We’re committed to disrupting this cycle, to keeping the balance in neighbourhoods as they grow and develop and retaining the creative talent that is so vital to our success as a city. Creative Enterprise Zones will do just that – they’ll ensure artists and creative businesses can thrive in areas across the city, nurturing the artistic leaders of tomorrow and creating communities where developments and creatives work and live side by side.”

Since the beginning of his Mayoralty, Sadiq has made culture and the creative industries a top priority. Last year, he outlined a range of bold measures in his new draft London Plan – the Mayor’s overall planning strategy for the capital – to protect and grow the city’s cultural and creative industries. As well as Creative Enterprise Zones, the Mayor set out plans for protecting pubs, grassroots music venues, creative workspace, promoting cultural quarters and developing London as a 24-hour city.

The creative industries contribute £47bn to London’s economy every year and account for one in six jobs in the capital. Creative jobs are growing four times faster than the economy average and the majority of jobs cannot be automated, providing a major employment opportunity for London.