Workspaces for more than 100 artists and an Enterprise Hub supporting creative entrepreneurs will be at the heart of the newly opened Creative Enterprise Zone for Deptford and New Cross.

An artist at Deptford Foundry Studios with Deputy London Mayor Justine Simons

Affordable studios and workspaces for more than 100 artists and creative businesses have opened at The Deptford Foundry in South London.  

The building has been acquired with a 250-year lease by arts organisation Second Floor Studios & Arts, who have created 85 artists’ studios. A third of these have been taken up by local residents in Lewisham.

The workspaces will be home to a range of artistic disciplines, from fine art to pottery and photography.

To help bring residents and the creativity community together, the artists and businesses in the studios will give an hour of volunteering time each month to support charitable and community projects in the borough.

Creative Enterprise Zones

The studios are based in SHAPESLewisham, the Creative Enterprise Zone for Deptford and New Cross, which is being created in partnership with Lewisham Council.

As well as increasing affordable spaces for the creative sector, the Council is keen to keep creative talent from the borough’s education institutions living and working in Lewisham.

Goldsmiths, University of London will be setting up an Enterprise Hub at the zone to support local entrepreneurs and students to develop their creative business ideas. This will provide affordable workspaces for up to 100 local businesses and provide training and advice to local entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on supporting entrepreneurs from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

SHAPESLewisham is one of six new 'Creative Enterprise Zones' being established to fulfil a manifesto priority set out by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The aim is to attract artists, develop skills in local people and encourage creatives to put down roots and establish themselves in the local community.

Together, the zones aim to stimulate more than 3,500 new jobs and over 1,000 new training opportunities for local residents, as well as establishing more than 40,000 square metres of new affordable workspace in the capital.

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, said: “This is a major milestone in delivering the Mayor’s first-ever Creative Enterprise Zones and creating vital affordable workspaces in the capital.
“London is overflowing with talent and imagination, and its creativity makes the capital a place where people want to live, work and visit. The influence of our artists is felt in every corner of the city, but artists and creative businesses are under threat from rising rents, development and the uncertainty of Brexit. It is more important than ever that we support the creative sector and send a clear signal that London is open to creativity, talent and innovation.”

Liz Hill