New trust to give London artists affordable studios

Private and public funding are coming together to create an independent trust to provide affordable workspaces for artists in London.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced the Creative Land Trust, formed by the mayor, Arts Council England, Outset Contemporary Art and Bloomberg Philanthropies which will provide kick-start funding for the trust.

The trust, to which the mayor is contributing £4m and ACE £2m, aims to provide 1,000 spaces in its first five years in a bid to halt the decline in studio provision in the capital.

“Affordable workspace is essential for artists and creatives to develop their ideas” said Candida Gertler of Outset, the global independent charity devoted to supporting contemporary art. “At Outset, we have invested in and prioritised the needs of artists for 15 years. Artists’ studios are far more than just physical places of work; they are centres of creative exchange, education and mentoring, and serve as socio-economic hubs with their own supply chains and communities. Thus artists and creatives are the original social entrepreneurs.

“By bringing together the real-estate, arts and public sectors to find a permanent solution for affordable creative workspace in London based on a solid business model, the Creative Land Trust marks an exciting and crucial step forward.” 

And Jemma Read of Bloomberg Philanthropy added: “Cities thrive when they can attract and retain creative talent, so affordable space for artists must be a priority. The Creative Land Trust is an innovative public-private partnership to help stabilise a sector that is vital to the future dynamism of London”.

The initiative is part of the mayor’s wider policy Culture for All Londoners which includes the formation of cultural enterprise zones, putting creative industries, which account for one in six jobs in the capital, at the heart of London’s economic development.

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