Creativity critical for the future of the City of London

The Culture Mile is expected transform the City into a unique and diverse art and culture hub.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London William Russell has said that creativity must play a critical role in tackling key issues facing businesses across the City.

In an event at Mansion House called ‘Creativity: A Commercial Superpower’, the Lord Mayor brought together the commercial and cultural sectors across the City. He told senior business leaders that Culture Mile – the City’s creative district will be crucial to the future of the city.

He said being part of a vibrant creative community attracts businesses and top talent, leading to happier healthier staff and more innovative, productive businesses.

The Lord Mayor highlighted findings from Culture Mile-commissioned and additional research, which found that creativity is essential to businesses across the City of London, including:

  • Companies that foster creativity achieve exceptional revenue growth and a higher market share than their peers .
  • Businesses in creative locations are more likely to attract and retain talent;
  • Businesses that integrate creativity in their workplace have healthier, more engaged staff
  • Putting art in offices can improve productivity by 17% and art interventions and creative art therapies have been shown to reduce stress in employees by 81%

Mr Russell said: “Businesses today face significant challenges – attracting the best global talent, ensuring productive and healthy workforces, and operating in a climate of reduced company lifespans.

“Creativity is an economic superpower that can help tackle talent attraction and retention, workforce productivity and wellbeing, as well as innovation.

“No other city on the planet has the history and the heritage, the cultural riches and the creativity, that we have in London.

“These are assets that make the City such an attractive place to live, work and visit and why the City Corporation is the UK’s fourth largest funder of cultural activities, contributing over £100m every year.

“But we are yet to maximise the economic potential of our creative strengths, which is why Culture Mile is so important, encouraging a culture of creativity which is fundamental to a flourishing economy.”

NOW READ: New art installation guides visitors along Culture Mile

The research found that Culture Mile’s creative credentials mean businesses in the City of London are well-placed to capitalise on these findings.

The growth of the creative industries across the City has outpaced that in surrounding boroughs, London and the rest of the UK. IT, software and computer services, publishing, advertising and marketing are all large employers, alongside the museums, galleries and libraries, performing and visual arts professionals clustered in and around Culture Mile.

The unique combination of businesses, transport links, schools and academies in the City’s cultural district offer an unprecedented opportunity to harness the area’s mix of sectors, infrastructure, connectivity and access to talent to establish Culture Mile as a global hub of creativity, innovation and learning that delivers economic growth and social mobility for London.

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The Culture Mile is better highlighting the diverse history of the Square Mile while championing new and modern art

Culture Mile is a new home for contemporary culture in the ancient heart of London’s working capital, stretching from Farringdon through to Moorgate.

Led by the City of London Corporation, with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London, together they are creating a vibrant cultural and creative area in the north-west corner of the Square Mile.

The City Corporation investing in the development of Culture Mile, including £197 million for the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £4.9million in funding to enable the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music.

In order to capitalise on the creative strengths of the area, Culture Mile is bringing together businesses and organisations across the City of London to transform the area through the Culture Mile Network.

Companies within the network include a mixed ecology of professional service firms, financial sector companies, technology businesses, entrepreneurial start-ups, research institutions, creative enterprises,  and world-class cultural organisations.

By working with the Network to animate the area, develop the infrastructure, share skills and knowledge, Culture Mile is enabling creativity to flourish across the area.

Culture Mile Learning also brings together organisations from across the City and beyond to work together on an unprecedented scale to build a world-class hub of creativity, innovation and learning.

Culture Mile Learning specialises in the fusion of creative, interpersonal, problem-solving and digital literacy skills needed by today’s employers, recently launching the inaugural Fusion Prize, a new competition – with a £50,000 prize fund – to find innovative ways to upskill future generations, empowering them to meet the demands of today’s employers

Through these initiatives, Culture Mile is harnessing the power of creativity in order to deliver economic growth and social mobility for London.

Key note speaker Dan Makoski, chief design officer at Lloyd’s Banking Group, said: “Business innovation has always been fuelled by creativity, and Design Thinking now demystifies how to harness this power in a repeatable, reliable way.

“The business brain traditionally leans to the rational left, but is only complete when the intuition and creativity of the right side are activated.”

“There are design settlers who like the relative comfort of creative agencies and studios, and pioneers who get excited about using creativity at the heart of traditional businesses. Transformative innovation comes from pioneers.”

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