Hounslow has been successful in securing funding to develop its bid to become one of the Capitals first Creative Enterprise Zones. Creative Enterprise Zones are a bold new initiative for London to secure its future as a cultural capital and ensure creative people continue to call London their home.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan yesterday announced a shortlist of ten submissions from London boroughs that will each receive a share of a £500,000 fund, to develop their bids. Hounslow was one of ten submissions selected out of a total of 25 applications received. This ground-breaking new initiative, one of the Mayor’s key manifesto priorities, will help creatives put down roots, establish themselves in local areas, attract new artists and creative businesses, and develop skills in local people. The creative industries contribute £47bn 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.
Although each Creative Enterprise Zone will have its own distinctive character, they will bring together artists, local businesses and landowners to develop and create new jobs, establish and secure new spaces for creative production and open up opportunities for talented young people who are considering careers in the creative industries. The London Borough of Hounslow has London’s highest concentration of media and broadcasting jobs. The borough will now undertake research and develop action plans to help to formulate the council’s vision for its individual Creative Enterprise Zone. The council will then be invited to put bids forward for further funding in Summer 2018 to become one of three designated Creative Enterprise Zones later in the year.
The development grant will create a plan which looks at how to create better networks, linking local people with opportunities in multinational media companies. The plan will focus on affordable artist, maker and creative spaces, support local people to access creative jobs and promote Hounslow as a location for the creative sector to live and work. The plan will also include the formation of a consortium including Brentford High Street Steering Group, Brentford Chamber of Commerce, CPP Creatives Group, Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, Hounslow Economic Business Forum, University of West London, Watermans Arts Centre, and West London Business.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan:
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. 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.
Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member Green Policy & Leisure Hounslow Council:
This is a great boost for Hounslow! As the borough with the highest concentration of jobs within the media and creative industries in London, we are well placed to build on that foundation and promote ourselves as a Creative Enterprise Zone.
We want to retain our creative talent and ensure that artists and creative businesses can continue to thrive here. Affordable studio spaces and artistic communities that nurture talent are essential to maintain this, so we are delighted that the Mayor has launched this initiative.