The Creative Workspace Resilience Fund was launched with the intention of helping studio providers and creative workspace providers to support artists and makers to be able to afford space to work and to retain studio buildings.
The purpose of the fund is to support activities that will help studio and creative workspace providers reduce occupancy costs for artists, makers, and other creative tenants. This might include:
Providing hardship grants to creative tenants to help them afford space to work during and after the crisis
Helping to secure reductions in running costs eg negotiating a rental discount with the landlord or a break in mortgage payments
The Creative Workspace Resilience Fund closed on Wednesday 20th of May. Working quickly to process applications the team announced on the 9th of July 2020 that funding had been awarded to 82 artists studios across 18 London boroughs. These include emerging and established providers supporting fine artists, dancers, ceramicists, musicians, and more. The team now continues to work to process funding, support recipients, and understand the impact of funding as well as ongoing challenges faced in the creative sector.
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.
Through the careful allocation of funding and support we have been able to offer studios a more secure and sustainable future and in turn alleviate current pressures faced by artists and creatives across London.
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.”