Arts organisations are among those to receive a share of a new £20m fund, which is tackling a shortage of affordable creative workspaces in the capital.

Photo of Peckham Road Fire Station
Peckham Road Fire Station will be transformed into an art gallery
Photo: 

Peckham Rd Fire Station, 2015. Photo by Rosie Reed Gold. Courtesy the South London Gallery

Cultural organisations and creative businesses are among those to benefit from a new £20m fund announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP. The London Regeneration Fund has awarded grants to projects aimed at tackling the shortage of affordable creative workspaces for artists and creative entrepreneurs.

The successful proposals create new open workspaces such as incubators, co-working spaces, maker-spaces and artists’ studios, or secure their long term affordability, which Johnson sees as “key to the continued growth of London’s creative economy and its global reputation as a leading city for creativity”.

Among the successful grant applicants is Battersea Arts Centre, which will receive over £500k towards a new incubator hub for start-up and early-stage creative businesses within the arts centre. The hub will include an open studio for flexible working and each member will be required to offer two hours of their time and skills per month to other hub members and to participants of complementary initiatives.

Cell Studios will receive match funding of £75k to provide artists’ studios in Hackney Wick, converting 650m2 of workspace in a vacant heritage building.

The Bow Packing works site in the borough of Tower Hamlets – previously vacant for over ten years – will be refurbished for co-working space, artist studios, workshops, event space and a bar/restaurant, unlocking 7,600m2 of new workspace.

Other projects include turning the former Peckham Road Fire Station into an art gallery; transforming two industrial sheds in Enfield into open workshops for makers and artist studios, with shared facilities; and in Richmond, converting the ground floor car park of a 1970s Magistrate’s Count for creative making uses.

The programme was established by the London Enterprise Panel using funds secured as part of London’s ‘Growth Deal’. It will grant £20m in capital funding between 2016 and 2018 to support regeneration of London’s high streets and places of work.

Author(s): 
Liz Hill