Creative Land Trust announces its first studio acquisition

March 19, 2021

Creative Land Trust today announces the acquisition of Stone Studios in the heart of Hackney Wick from developer Telford Homes. 

This represents a substantial step towards the Trust’s goal of securing 1000 affordable workspaces for London’s artists and makers – making space for art. 

The 33,000sf ground and lower ground floor space will provide long-term, genuinely affordable studios and ensure that artists can continue to flourish in one of the capital’s creative hotspots.   

Creative Land Trust has acquired the space, designated as the residential development’s “Affordable Workspace”, to accommodate up to 180 studios for artists and other creative practitioners. The London Legacy Development Corporation’s planning  and regeneration strategy for the area has helped enable the designation of HWFI as one of London’s Creative Enterprise Zones and secured the delivery of genuinely affordable workspace at Stone Studios.  Occupiers will enjoy long term security, while the London Borough of Hackney and the wider city of London will strengthen their reputations for culture led regeneration.

Meanwhile, the unique area of Hackney Wick, one of London’s first Mayoral Creative Enterprise Zones, will see its vibrancy and distinctiveness embedded, locking in cultural benefits and creating new economic opportunities for local residents. The workspace will include street frontage studios, highlighting the area’s industrial heritage.

This acquisition is the first in what will become a portfolio of properties, as Creative Land Trust fulfils its mission to secure long-term, affordable workspace for artists and makers to support London’s creative industries. The Trust continue to seek locations across London for long term affordable workspace, and is always delighted to hear from potential partners.

Expert studio providers will be appointed to operate the workspace and the Trust will make a further announcement about this in the coming weeks.  

Creative Land Trust works to provide affordable studio space for artists across London and the UK, in perpetuity and is grateful for the support of founding partners Mayor of London, Arts Council England, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Outset Contemporary Art Fund. Recently the Trust worked with the Mayor of London to deliver the Culture at Risk Business Support Fund, distributing £1.6m to 82 studio organisations across 18 boroughs, supporting nearly 11,500 creatives across London.

Alex Notay and Catherine Webster, Co-Chairs of Creative Land Trust: 

“We are absolutely delighted to confirm this studio acquisition. Creative activity is the beating heart of any successful urban place and it is critical that we secure and protect workspaces for our artistic communities to thrive through the pandemic and well beyond. We are enormously proud of the entire Creative Land Trust team; both executive staff and Board Trustees, who have all worked incredibly hard to secure this fantastic first studio into our portfolio.” 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: 

“The acquisition of Stone Studios is a major milestone for the Creative Land Trust, which we founded to establish much needed affordable workspaces for artists and creatives in the capital.

London is overflowing with talent and innovation, but our creative community is under constant threat from rising rents and the pandemic has left many artists on a cliff edge.  It is more important than ever that we support this sector and the next generation of talent, so that they can help drive forward our city’s economic recovery.”

Tonya Nelson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England:

“Now more than ever it is important to secure London’s culture of creativity and enable all artists in our communities to reach their potential. I am delighted that with support from the Arts Council, the Creative Land Trust has been able to make their first investment in affordable workspace for creatives. This will help foster the future creativity of our diverse communities in London.” 

Jemma Read, Global Head of Corporate Philanthropy and Engagement, Bloomberg LP:

“The impacts of the pandemic continue to present immense challenges, especially for creative communities. Yet alongside the difficulties, we have a unique opportunity: to think carefully about the future that we want for our capital. At Bloomberg, we know that cities thrive when they can attract and retain creative talent, so we’re incredibly proud to see the realisation of an important milestone which will support London’s artistic communities in a long-term and sustainable manner.”

Simon Halfhide, Group Sales Director at Telford Homes:

“Hackney Wick has a creative legacy spanning generations, and we are committed to preserving and building on that with our Stone Studios development. We’re delighted to partner with Creative Land Trust to help us achieve this goal – providing quality, affordable workspace for local artists and creatives to help consolidate and strengthen the local community and maintain its unique spirit.” 

Lyn Garner, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation:  

“It’s great news that so many organisations have come together to help protect the creative heritage of the area. This affordable workspace is a key part of supporting Hackney Wick’s creative sector and helping it to continue to thrive long into the future.”  

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council, Cabinet Member Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy:

“As one of London’s first Creative Enterprise Zones, creative-led activities are at the heart of Hackney Wick, its economy, its cultural life and its community. As the Wick neighbourhood transforms and welcomes new residents and businesses to the area, it is crucial that the Council does everything it can to ensure the makers, creatives, artists and businesses who have made the Wick what it is today remain at the heart of its future. 

Supporting the Creative Land Trust to secure its first site in the Wick will not only help Hackney Wick reinforce its identity as one of London’s most recognisable and successful creative clusters – it also shows that we’re making good on our local commitment to safeguard opportunities for the creative community and local residents, while ensuring that developers are tasked with re-providing genuinely affordable work and studio spaces in their new developments.” 

Haroon Mizra, Creative Land Trust Artist Ambassador:

“Having had a studio in Hackney Wick for 3 years now I’ve been saddened by artists leaving the area due to the massive redevelopment taking place.  It’s brilliant news that we’ve been able to secure this important property for artists and that the area will continue to be where artists are able to thrive.”

Notes to the editor:

Creative Land Trust  

Creative Land Trust was established in 2019 to secure long term, affordable workspace for London’s artists and creatives, ensuring a vibrant and prosperous future for this critical industry, enriching communities and strengthening our city. The Trust’s aim is to secure 1,000 affordable workspaces in the first five years, providing space for the creative sector and helping to maintain London’s status as an international cultural capital. This is a critical moment for art and culture in London, as the impact of Covid adds to the financial pressures forcing creatives out of the city; Creative Land Trust aims to reverse the trend. 

The Trust acquires buildings through purchase of freeholds and long leaseholds, asset transfers and strategic partnerships with local authorities, developers and landowners.  The Trust then works with expert studio providers to lease space to artists, makers and other creative practitioners.  

Telford Homes 

Telford Homes is a leading London-focused residential and mixed use property developer, that specialises in creating, designing and building innovative landmark developments in some of the most desirable and sought-after locations in the capital. 

The emphasis of a Telford Homes project is always focused foremost upon quality, great connections and exclusivity.  With wellbeing a core part of their vision to develop the homes and create the places that London needs.  

Telford Homes recognise that good urban planning and high-quality infrastructure can help counter the often-negative health implications of city living – and aim to drive this through their Building a Living Legacy strategy and commitment to quality placemaking. 

Hackney Council 

Hackney Council is helping build a fairer, greener and more inclusive economy for Hackney Wick. This includes, in collaboration with partners, putting planning rules in place to ensure that genuinely affordable workspace for existing small businesses is provided in new buildings as part of the Hackney Wick Central Masterplan. Stone Studios will represent a third of the affordable workspace that is being capped under these plans.