Mayor of London invests in new Creative Enterprise Zones

An investment of nearly £3m has been announced by the Mayor of London to support skills development and employment opportunities across the capital.

The funding will build on the Mayor’s Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZ), which launched in 2018 to support artists, creative businesses and local people entering the creative sector and securing new jobs, by creating affordable workspace, and offering business support and skills training.

The investment will be used to boost the existing CEZs and help bring forward a further six zones over the next two years.

This intervention comes at a time when the creative and cultural sector is starting to rebuild after the pandemic, and the Mayor hopes that the extra funding will play a role in fostering creativity, boosting economic growth and generating employment.

people sitting down near table with assorted laptop computers

The Mayor of London, Sadiq 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.’

The first six existing CEZs in Croydon, Haringey, Hounslow, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Hackney and Tower Hamlets, have collectively created 15,699sqm of permanent affordable creative workspace, and will offer 1,000 training opportunities.

They have proved vital to the survival of the capital’s creative sector during the pandemic, supporting more than 300 cultural organisations and businesses, protecting 1000 sector jobs and leveraging £2.2m in additional funding for help towards rent reliefs and business rate grants.

Cllr Matthew Bennet, deputy leader of Lambeth Council, said: ‘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.’

In related news, a major government investment could create 2,000 new jobs in an effort to make Cardiff a global hub for media innovation and production.

Photo by Marvin Meyer


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