Hackney Wick goes 'global' after Brexit with City Hall cash to set up artists' enterprise zone
PUBLISHED: 16:44 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 14 December 2018
An enterprise zone for artists and the creative industries is being set up at Hackney Wick as one of six schemes within the M25 unveiled today by the Mayor of London in the wake of the Brexit threat.
The zone bordering the Lea River gets a slice of an £11 million City Hall bonanza announced by Sadiq Khan following a joint ‘trio’ bid by Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney councils with the Olympics Legacy Corporation.
Creative communities have demonstrated their role in revitalising run-down neighbourhoods like Hackney Wick and Fish Island—but over time find themselves priced out of the neighbourhoods they have helped regenerate, the mayor points out.
“I’ve been clear that London is open for business,” Mayor Khan stressed. “These enterprise zones will help London remain forward-looking by turning these areas into creative hubs to ensure that artists and entrepreneurs get the support they need to become our creative leaders of the future.”
The six zones are to provide investment during the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, City Hall reveals, making sure London “remains one of the most entrepreneurial business centres in the world”.
They will create 3,500 new jobs between them and support 1,000 people into education and training, while also opening up 400,000sq ft of affordable workspace.
Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs said: “It’s vital that we protect the heritage of Hackney Wick and Fish Island which have been shaped by communities of artists and creative entrepreneurs who have made these areas their home.
“This funding will allow us to do just that, making sure they’re able to stay in genuinely affordable workspace while creating opportunities for new enterprises to move in.”
The successful pitch to City Hall by Tower Hamlets and Hackney councils and the Olympics Corporation pledged to work with employment services to provide training and internships in the cultural, creative, digital and tech industries, while offering employers apprenticeships, internships and tailored business support.
It also promotes developing the east bank of the River Lea, opposite the Olympic Park, to create a “powerhouse” of culture, education and innovation in “one of the most recognisable artistic hubs in the world”.