Premises Ready Programme

Starting in November 2018, the Greater London Authority has worked with Creative United to deliver a programme supporting people and organisations to open cultural venues within London. 

Premises Ready Programme

The programme offers advice from industry insiders and experts from arts centres, cinemas, music and dance venues providing knowledge and insights to help creative businesses open a venue. 

You could be a live music promoter who is ready to take on their own venue, a touring theatre company wanting a permanent space or a dancer who wants to make the leap to running their own performance studio.

The programme's three parts consist of:

  1. The Premises Ready Symposium on 14 November 2018: Join us at this free event where we'll discuss the challenges of securing your premises and tips to make the journey that much smoother, with those who have been there and done that. Booking is essential, so please register for the event.
  2. Premises Ready 2-Day Workshop, 5 and 6 December 2018: An expert-led workshop on 5 and 6 December 2018 at Camden's Roundhouse (on sale on 14 November) where you can learn about business planning, accessing finance, licensing, rates and marketing (see more info below).
  3. Free one-to-one business advice in 2019: Five businesses will receive free one-to-one advice from an industry specialist to really boost you towards getting the keys to your own building (applications are now closed).

Symposium event details

Wednesday 14 November 2018 at City Hall

  • 14:00 - Registration
  • 14:15 - Opening remarks and welcome from GLA
  • 14:25 - Introduction to the afternoon from Creative United
  • 14:30 - Keynote with Tracy Cooper (Artsdepot)
  • 14:45 - Panel - Getting ready: What to prepare and consider when seeking to buy or lease your own premises


15:30 - Panel

Staying open for business: The challenges, surprises and unexpected hurdles of running your premises


16:15 - Closing remarks
16:20 - Networking and drinks
17:00 - End

Premises Ready Workshops

This two-day workshop equipped participants with essential business and operational knowledge to get you moving into your own space, taught and facilitated by industry experts. They took place on 5 and 6 December 2018 at The Roundhouse, Camden.

Day One: Business modelling and planning, and business rates (9:45 am to 4:30 pm)

Day Two: Funding and finance, licenses and marketing (9:45 am to 4:30 pm)

What you'll learn:

  • Understand different types of business, e.g. Limited company, Charity, Community Interest Company etc, and which one would be right for you
  • Use of the Business Model Canvas to design your business model
  • Creating the most effective business plan for the future of your business
  • Business rates, why they exist and which ones you'll need to pay
  • Different ways to raise money - i.e. through loans or grants - and which are right for you
  • Understand legal jargon and what to look out for in leases and contracts
  • Different licences you'll need for your venue or theatre space
  • How to understand and attract your audience, and market your offer to sustain your business

The 1:1 advice

Following the Symposium in November and the Workshops in December, we are currently providing five individuals or businesses with 4 hours of expert business advice from a sector specialist. 

This is an opportunity for you to work in depth on your business plan, cash flow forecasts, finance options or long-term strategy which will set you up to progress towards getting the keys to your own venue. 

Who will benefit from the advice?

  • You're planning to operate a public-facing cultural venue such as a music venue, theatre, comedy club or other forms of performance and art presentation
  • You may already have a building in mind, or know where you want to be based
  • You haven't leased or bought a venue before

Who can't be supported?

  • People who are looking to open a creative workspace, restaurant or rehearsal studio - i.e. a building that won't offer public-facing cultural performances

Who will be providing the 1:1 advice?

Creative United will match you with one of our team of industry specialists based on your needs and ambitions:

  • James West
  • Ellen O'Hara
  • Remi Harris

Applications for the 1:1 business advice are now closed. 


For further information about the programme, please visit Creative United's website or email [email protected]



Share this page