London’s creative sector is to receive a £3 million boost to support its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced.
The money will be used to improve skills and employment opportunities through the Mayor’s Creative Enterprise Zone scheme, which provides creative businesses with skills training and support to secure affordable workspaces.
The funding will see the launch of six new Creative Enterprise Zones in the next two years, with Waltham Forest’s Blackhorse Lane to be the first new zone following a successful year as London Borough of Culture in 2019.
Sadiq Khan has said that the cultural and creative sectors can help “jumpstart” London’s economy by providing a boost to tourism, but that “support must start at grassroots level”.
Mr Khan said: “Our creative industries are critically important to the fabric of our city and will play an essential part in our economic and social recovery.
“The Creative Enterprise Zones programme has proved to be a valuable springboard for cultural enterprises right across the city. Throughout the pandemic, it became a lifeline for creative businesses and artists, providing support for them when they needed it most.
“That’s why I am investing to create six more zones. London’s cultural and creative sector is a major contributor to the economy, it can help jumpstart the recovery and bring much-needed tourism to our city. However, support must start at grassroots level, with studio spaces, training and innovation. Investing in our city has never been more important – I’m encouraging local authorities to apply for accreditation and see how a Creative Enterprise Zone can benefit your borough.”
Boroughs will be able to apply for support from City Hall including grants of up to £70,000 as well as access to research and marketing.
The Creative Enterprise Zone scheme was launched in 2018 and has so far seen six boroughs awarded support.
According to City Hall, this has led to the creation of more than 15,000 square metres of creative workspaces and 1,000 training opportunities.
The UK’s creative and cultural sectors have been some of the worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 110,000 jobs lost according to Creative England.
City Hall’s existing Creative Enterprise Zones have supported 1000 jobs within London and will continue to provide opportunities for more than 650 Londoners.