London announces Creative Enterprise Zones shortlist
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that 11 boroughs in the capital will receive a grant to develop their plans to become Creative Enterprise Zones.
Each submission on the ten-strong shortlist – Hackney and Tower Hamlets submitted a joint bid – will receive £50,000 to develop their bids, with the final decision on the three Creative Enterprise Zones to be announced later this year.
The successful bidders from the 25 which applied include Barking and Dagenham; Bexley; Camden; Croydon; Harrow; Hounslow; Lambeth; Lewisham; Southwark; and Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
The initiative was one of Khan’s key manifesto pledges and aims to help creatives put down roots, establish themselves in local areas, attract new artists and creative businesses, and develop skills in local people.
It recognises that the creative communities which have revitalised certain areas of the capital are often subsequently forced out of the area by rising rents, increased property prices and the decline of affordable workspace.
London is predicted to lose 30 per cent of its affordable creative workspace by 2019.
“Artists and creative businesses around London breathe life into every corner of our city – but too often they find themselves unable to put down roots due to the spiralling cost of housing and workspace,” said Khan.
“This is a real problem that threatens to undermine London’s position as the world’s creative capital.
“Creative Enterprise Zones offer a real, practical solution to this problem – with the potential of locally reduced business rates, incentives to open up new spaces and initiatives that really value the contribution that creatives make to our capital.
“They will also bring new jobs to the area, encouraging local young people to develop careers in the creative industries.”
Research carried out in Tottenham by Haringey Council found that a Creative Enterprise Zone would support growth and attract new start-up creative businesses, creating an estimated 300 new jobs each year, and generating growth of £26 million.
The creative industries contribute £47 billion to London’s economy every year and account for one in six jobs in the capital.
Creative jobs are growing four times faster than the economy average and the majority of jobs cannot be automated, providing a major employment opportunity for London.
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