London commits another £3m to cultural enterprise zones
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is to invest a further £3m in cultural enterprise zones (CEZs), launched in 2018.
Six new CEZs, including Waltham Forest - the first London Borough of Culture in 2019 - are to be added to Croydon, Haringey, Hounslow, Lambeth, Lewisham, and a single zone across both Hackney and Tower Hamlets, the first six.
The CEZs support artists, freelancers and small creative businesses by creating long-term affordable workspace, offering business support and helping develop vital skills. The new City Hall funding builds on the initial investment by the mayor of £11m already invested by the Mayor, with the new money supporting three new zones in 2021-22 and three more in 2022-23.
The CEZ programme was devised by the mayor and deputy mayor for culture Justine Simons to put culture at the heart of communities and the first six have so far already created 15,669sqm of new, permanent, affordable creative workspace, offering 1,000 training opportunities. Boroughs can apply for grants of up to £70,000.
“It is so important that we do everything we can to support artists and creatives with affordable space at the beginning of their careers” said the artist and designer Wayne Hemingway. “Creative enterprise zones are a great way to build a creative area, making space affordable and supporting training and new jobs, that’s why I’m delighted to champion it.”
And the deputy leader of Lambeth Councill, Matthew Bennett, added: “Having a creative enterprise zone provided us with a strong evidence base to inform our emergency support for those most in need during the pandemic. The CEZ work helped evidence where targeted support was needed and enabled us to safeguard hundreds of creative jobs within the zone.”