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Creative Enterprise Zone launched in Deptford and New Cross

Goldsmiths, University of London campus in New Cross, south east London

Future Cities Forum will be holding its next Cultural Cities forum in September with Lord Mendoza, Commissioner for Cultural Recovery at the DCMS, and will be discussing not only the support needed for cultural institutions in the UK, but also the issue of whether London can provide affordable studios for artists and the creative sector.

Our discussions in our 'Cultural Cities' series have highlighted the growing problem of artists leaving London and the effect on the surrounding cultural districts. Some provision is being made to create affordable studios in East London.

Now a new creative partnership between Lewisham Council and key artistic, creative and educational institutions in the borough has been launched, bringing 85 new affordable artists' studios to Deptford at Second Floor Studios.

The Council has worked with a number of local partners, including Goldsmiths, University of London, Trinity Laban, the Albany, Second Floor Studios, Studio Raw and Lewisham Education Arts Network, to successfully bid for New Cross and Deptford to become one of London's first Creative Enterprise Zones securing over £500,000 in funding from the Mayor of London.

The Creative Enterprise Zone, known as SHAPESLewisham will support creative businesses to connect and collaborate, increase access to affordable workspace so creatives can put down roots and stay in the community, link creative enterprises to the skills, expertise and facilities of our education and cultural institutions, and provide career pathways from school into further education, higher education and a career in the creative sector.

It is built on the unique strengths of the Deptford and New Cross area with its rich history of arts, a thriving creative and digital sector, and its cultural and educational assets.

The area the council says has a unique creative environment and a growing number of creative businesses from digital and graphic design, contemporary visual art to dance and music. Employment is the sector grew by 71% in the last five years - twice the rate of the capital as a whole.

Alongside the launch of the Creative Enterprise Zone, it was announced that with Goldsmiths University of London, the council has been successful in bidding for over £1.6 million worth of funding from the Mayor of London to support the opening of a new Enterprise Hub in New Cross.


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