Square Mile looks to art for recovery

Commerce and the City of London have gone into partnership to spark the financial centre’s recovery through culture.

Today a package of five plans were given the go-ahead. Under the plans drawn up by the city’s culture and commerce taskforce, businesses and creatives will work together to animate shops, offices and foyers to attract people back into the Square Mile post-Covid.

“I am really excited to see these fantastic collaborations between culture and commerce playing a critical role as the city begins to build back better” said the city’s Lord Mayor, William Russell, who chairs the taskforce. “By working together, businesses and creatives can be a driving force in the Square Mile’s recovery. This partnership will help to attract people back to the city as we reopen in new and exciting ways.”

The five projects will see, with Enhancing the city, art installed in commercial public spaces; through Creative Skills London young people being offered a five-day workshop to learn about career options and pathways into the creative sector; with Creatives for London businesses across the city employing artists and creatives in their built environment project teams; businesses and artists linking to deliver a wide-ranging skills and knowledge-sharing programme developed by Culture Mile and supported by Bloomberg LP; and commercial spaces redesigned into creative workspace hubs for small, diverse, creative business in a scheme called Create in the City.

The plan has been developed from a blueprint in the corporation’s Fuelling Creative Renewal report, published in February, whose aim was to establish stronger ties between businesses and the creative sectors to boost London’s economic growth.

The taskforce membership includes Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director The Barbican Centre; Gideon Moore of Linklaters; Caroline Norbury, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation;  Justine Simons, deputy mayor for culture; John Studzinski, founder of the Genesis Foundation; Jemma Read of Bloomberg; and Tonya Nelson, London director of Arts Council England.

“The creative sector is critical for reinvigorating our city in a post- pandemic world, keeping London and the City – the historic heart of the capital – a desirable place to live, work, visit and invest” Russell said. “It is thanks to the unique creative strengths of London and the City, that we attract world-class talent, build international connections and remain a global hub of creativity and innovation.”

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