Deputy Mayor celebrates Camden’s entrepreneurs 1st year of success

21 March 2014

London’s Deputy Mayor for business and enterprise met some of Camden’s finest new entrepreneurs yesterday (20 March) when he joined celebrations to mark the first year of a pioneering creative industries hub in Camden.

Kit Malthouse visited C/159, the latest outpost of the Camden Collective initiative, to celebrate their role in making Camden one of the leading creative centres of the UK. Over the course of the last year C/159 has racked up a series of successes including supporting 90 new business start-ups, creating 56 new jobs, providing 151 young people with support and training and hosting 95 events in pop-up retail spaces on Camden High Street. The project has also being shortlisted for a national architectural award for innovation.

C/159 was transformed from a once derelict pound shop into a bustling retail and business hub, utilising part of £700k of funding that was provided by the Mayor alongside match funding from Camden Council and Camden Town Unlimited. The project forms part of £2.2m of funding that the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund has invested in Camden to help the area retain its title as one of the top creative economies in the country.

Camden has a thriving creative scene that focusses on the arts, music and design, with the World famous Camden Lock Market at its epicentre. C/159 aims to ensure that this cultural legacy continues in often difficult market conditions by providing vital affordable workspace, boosting business opportunities, passing on skills and creating jobs.

Deputy Mayor of London for business and enterprise, Kit Malthouse, said: “The Camden Collective is a fantastic example of creative thinking injecting new life into an old unloved space on the high street and I’d like to congratulate all those involved for their huge achievements over the past 12 months. The Mayor has committed a large chunk of his regeneration fund in recognition of the important work it carries out supporting local businesses and providing young people with the skills and experience to get them into the working world.”

The Camden Collective is also helping to regenerate a neglected corner of Camden Town improving the retail offering and encouraging other businesses to relocate to the area. Businesses located in the ground floor of the building include coffee, clothes, jewellery, furniture and art shops which are taking advantage of cheaper space to rent for periods of six months to get themselves started. The upper floors of the building houses office space for upcoming creative and tech businesses.

The owner of ‘In With the Old’ one of the businesses taking advantage of the retail space in C/159 said: “C/159 is a one of a kind retail space bustling with creative and entrepreneurial energy. It’s a must see shopping destination where you can support upcoming creative businesses over run of the mill high street chains!”

Cllr Valerie Leach, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth said: “We’re excited about what C/159 has to offer in giving local entrepreneurs and Camden’s creative community a space to grow and develop. Initiatives such as this, and our Community Investment Programme, are really helping to deliver more jobs and business opportunities to the borough.”

Find out more about the Camden Collective at www.camdencollective.co.uk