What do we know about London's cultural infrastructure?

The Mayor is developing the first comprehensive city-wide evidence base for cultural infrastructure.

Culture and the creative industries need a range of commercial premises and sites of different scales and tenures, from a studio in an artists’ workspace to a large industrial warehouse.

The evidence base that is being gathered identifies:

  • the building or site location of cultural facilities located on the Cultural Infrastructure Map
  • the issues impacting them
  • the trends around loss or gain of facilities
  • risk factors

Dance performance and rehearsal infrastructure

The first ever research study of publicly bookable dance performance and rehearsal spaces across London sets out the current state of play for the city’s dance infrastructure.

It has found that there are currently 335 buildings used for dance rehearsal and performance in London. Of these spaces only 78 are used primarily for dance. For the remaining 257 buildings dance is a secondary function with rehearsal spaces in schools, arts centres or commercial spaces.

You can view all of the sites on the Cultural Infrastructure Map.

The data is accompanied by a report. Please download The Case for Dance Infrastructure to read more about London's dance infrastructure.

Artists' workspace

The 2018 Artists Workspace Data Note shows that there are 239 artists workspace sites in London.

However, these sites remain vulnerable with 57 sites (17 per cent) ‘at risk’ of closure in the next five years.

This data note updates the landmark 2014 research on the subject, which found the sector was vulnerable.

LGBT+ nightlife venues

In 2017 UCL Urban Laboratory published research in partnership with the GLA looking at LGBTQ+ nightlife venues in London from 1986.

The GLA reviewed this data in 2018. Research shows there are 52 venues in London. The sector is vulnerable having seen a decline of 61 per cent of venues since 2006.

The number of venues remained stable in 2017/2018 for the first time in a decade.


The 2018 pubs annual data note was produced using information from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the inter-departmental business register (IDBR). This research showed that London has lost over a quarter of its pubs since 2001. This amounts to 60 pubs in 2015-16 (1.6 per cent fall) and 85 pubs in 2016-17 (2.4 per cent fall) - more than one a week.

Grassroots Music Venues

Grassroots music venues have been mapped annually since 2016. In 2018 London had 94 venues. The sector has lost 35 per cent of venues since 2006. The economic impact of these venues to London has also been measured. This number has remained stable for the last two years. Research into the impact of the 2017 business rates revaluation identified 21 of London’s 94 grassroots music venues at risk of closure due to increased bills. The total business rates bill for these venues rose overnight by 26 per cent – from £3.2 million to £4 million. 

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