Creative Enterprise Zones © Vic Lee

Creative Enterprise Zones

"Creative Enterprise Zones are a bold new initiative for London to secure our future as a cultural capital and ensure artists and creatives continue to call this place their home" Mayor of London

Creative Enterprise Zones are a new Mayoral initiative to designate areas of London where artists and creative businesses can find permanent affordable space to work; are supported to start-up and grow; and where local people are helped to learn creative sector skills and find new jobs.

Why does London need Creative Enterprise Zones?

The creative industries are key to London's success. they contribute £47 billion a year to the UK economy and provide one in six jobs in the capital. The creative workforce is growing four times faster than the economy as a whole, and research shows that creative jobs are 87% less likely to become automated. Creative jobs are the jobs of the future.

Artists and creatives can play an important part in incubating good growth, bringing new opportunities to an area and attracting new development. Artists move into cheap areas and help them grow and become desirable. But then they often find themselves priced out by the very success they have helped create. As the creative economy faces global competition, disrupting this cycle becomes a priority.

Creative Enterprise Zones will help the capital remain a creative and forward-looking city by securing much-needed affordable workspace, supporting areas to become or remain creative hubs and providing job and training opportunities that will ensure that the local community benefits from creative sector growth. They will ensure that artists and entrepreneurs, regardless of background, will be given the support they need and become our creative leaders of the future.

Creative Enterprise Zones are part of the 'Good Growth' strand of the Mayor's Culture Strategy. It's part of the Mayor’s ambition to put culture at the heart of local communities, where it belongs #mylocalculture

Where are the Creative Enterprise Zones?

The Mayor designated the first six Creative Enterprise Zones in December 2018. These are:

Croydon: Croydon Creatives

Haringey: Tottenham

Hounslow: Great West Creatives

Lambeth: Brixton

Lewisham: SHAPES Lewisham (Deptford and New Cross)

Tower Hamlets: Hackney Wick and Fish Island

What will Creative Enterprise Zones bring to London?

To qualify as a Mayoral Creative Enterprise Zone, local authorities have demonstrated how they will provide the following:

  • Space: Permanent, affordable, creative workspace and live-work spaces at below market rents and ensuring no net loss of space
  • Skills and support: Building entrepreneurial skills and offering business support to artists, start-ups, sole traders, micro-sized and small businesses, developing career pathways and opportunities for progression into the creative industries and supporting sectors
  • Policy: Local Plans with pro-culture policies in planning, housing, business development, technology and infrastructure, and supportive business rates policies
  • Community: Embedding creative production in communities, creating socially-inclusive places and strong links with education providers

Who is making this happen?

London Boroughs are leading consortiums of local creative businesses, artists, local community groups, developers, workspace providers, further and higher education institutions and other stakeholders.

The GLA is bringing representatives from all of the first Zones together in a new Creative Enterprise Zones Exchange Forum to track delivery, share experience and knowledge and undertake research to identify best practice.

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