Merchant of Venice Barking town

Creative thinking in Barking & Dagenham

02 September 2016

Barking and Dagenham has a reputation for being one of the worst places to live not just in London but in the UK.1 However its reputation is changing and the area is now seen as a thriving centre for artists and creativity.

  • How has this change come about?
  • How are the local communities involved?
  • Is the culture-led regeneration taking place there a genuine success?

The London Assembly Regeneration Committee is investigating how culture-led regeneration in London could help expand London’s artistic and creative offer, while also helping places to prosper.

The Committee will visit Creative Barking and Dagenham to see and hear about their work with local artists and the community. Set up in 2014, Creative Barking and Dagenham is working in partnership with the community and artists to ‘put the area firmly on the map as a place to make and enjoy existing art in all its forms’.2 They have focused on involving the community through a ‘Cultural Connectors’ network, made up of 120 volunteers who locally build enthusiasm for arts and creativity.

The Committee will also hear from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and their work in regenerating Barking Town Centre around a new Artist Enterprise Zone.


Spokespeople available:

Navin Shah AM, Chair of the Regeneration Committee
Shaun Bailey AM, Deputy Chair of the Regeneration Committee
Unmesh Desai AM, Member for City and East

Tom Copley AM, Londonwide Member
Liza Vallance, Artistic Director, Studio 3 Arts
Cllr Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader, LB Barking and Dagenham
Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create London and Marijke Steedman, Head Curator, Create London
Verity-Jane Keefe, Visual Artist, Mobile Museum
Michael Cubey, Head of Creative Workspaces, Bow Arts

Location: Galleon Community Centre (home to Studio 3 Arts), Boundary Road, IG11 7JR and Ice House Quarter (artist studio space), 62-80 Abbey Road, IG11 7BT

Date and time: Monday, 5 September, 13:00 (Galleon Community Centre), then 15:00 (Ice House Quarter)

Directions: Nearest stations: Barking on the Hammersmith & City/ District Line and c2c rail services

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

  1. Evening Standard, Is Barking and Dagenham really the worst place to live in the UK?, August 2015
  2. Funded by Arts Council England and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, the Creative People and Places Programme aims to encourage more people to choose, develop and take part in local cultural activities.
  3. Location map of Galleon Community Centre and the Ice House Quarter
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Ben Walker on 020 7983 5769.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.