Mayor’s emergency support fund awards £1.6m to studios hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis.

July 9, 2020

Emergency funding has been awarded to artist studios across the capital who are struggling from the impact of COVID-19.

The Mayor’s Culture at Risk Business Support Fund has given £1.6m to help studios across London

82 studios across 18 boroughs have received funding, supporting nearly 11,500 creatives

80 per cent of organisations receiving funding are led by women, people from a BAME background, the LGBTQ+ community or people with disabilities

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that £1.6m of emergency funding has been awarded to artist studios across the capital who are struggling from the impact of COVID-19.

The fund for creative workspaces, which includes an investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies, has benefitted 82 artist studios across 18 London boroughs, supporting more than 11,500 creatives.

Delivered by the Creative Land Trust, it is designed to help studios who are suffering the most from the near shut-down of the culture and creative industries.

Fine artists, dancers, ceramicists and musicians are among those to benefit, with 80 per cent of organisations receiving funding led by women, people from a BAME background, the LGBTQ+ community or people with disabilities.

The creative industries contribute £58 billion to London’s economy every year and provide one in six jobs in London, but City Hall research published this week warned that the impact of COVID-19 on the industries is set to cost the economy £16.3bn and put 151,000 jobs at risk, without support.

The Mayor created the £2.3m Culture at Risk Business Support Fund to support the industries most at risk. This includes £1.5m to support artists and creative businesses, £450,000 to support grassroots music venues, £225,000 to support LGBTQ+ venues and £150,000 to support independent cinemas. He is also providing help and advice to venues and creatives through the Culture at Risk Office and the London Growth Hub, launched Pay It Forward London to help customers buy goods and services in advance, and lobbying Government to give the industries the support they need.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The devastating impact of COVID-19 means London’s unparalleled culture and creative industries need our support now, more than ever. These artists make a significant contribution to our economy and life in our capital, but they have seen their income diminished by the near total shutdown of their industries. I’m delighted that through our Fund we are helping to ensure that thousands of our talented artists still have a place to work, so that they can play their part in our city’s recovery.”

Sir Anish Kapoor CBE said: “I am grateful to the Mayor and his team for their work to provide space for creative people in London. These spaces are in many ways the soul of our city as they support the psychic and creative life of our artists and performers. We need now more than ever, to foster a culture of generosity that enables artists to continue making their work which in turn enriches and nourishes us all.”

Jemma Read, Global Head Bloomberg Corporate Philanthropy said: ““Cultural and creative institutions are critical to the vitality and prosperity of our city. We are delighted to be working with the Mayor of London and many of our long-standing philanthropic partners to ensure that diverse voices continue to be heard and can play their key role in our economic recovery.”

Gordon Seabright, Creative Land Trust Chief Executive said: ““The Creative Land Trust team was proud to be asked to administer the Mayor’s Culture at Risk fund to preserve studios for artists and makers. Our role is to secure affordable studio space, in perpetuity, and we were pleased to take on the additional job of safeguarding existing spaces and enabling London’s artists and creatives to continue doing their wonderful work.”

Haroon Mirza, Creative Land Trust Artist Ambassador said: “Due to the nature of how artists work, many have slipped through the nets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds like this allow artists to keep their work place, which is vital for creativity. It’s a pleasure to help support some of the studio providers accommodating so many of the artists who make London such an important centre for culture.”

Paul Augarde, Culture at Risk Business Support Fund Panel Member said:“The Culture at Risk Fund offers such an important lifeline to London’s creative communities. The breadth and quality of the applications was inspiring, from small recording studios to large scale artist studio providers, and from every corner of the capital. The process evidenced just how much the sector is supporting its tenants already – reducing rents, offering hardship funds, business advice and emotional support. This funding compliments that extraordinary work and is invaluable in helping the sector emerge from this crisis with hope.”

Richard Priestley, from Cell Project Space & Studios, recipients of the funding, said: ‘We are certain it will be a lifeline to some of our tenants who would otherwise need to give up their studio, who we can now support financially.”

Ian Opoku, from No Stars Studios, recipients of the funding said: “I am extremely grateful to have been accepted for the funding, this will be an enormous help during this difficult time and is honestly a lifeline. So a huge thank you once again.”


Notes to editors:

Research by the Greater London Authority, architecture and urbanism practice We Made That, and economy specialists PRD estimated that the capital’s creative supply chain will lose 82,400 jobs and wipe £3.3bn off the value of London’s economy without government action –