Sadiq Khan plans to help create affordable housing for artists in London


A new plan set out by the London mayor and the mayoral team aims to produce creative enterprise zones to combat threats to the city's artistic industries.

Recently appointed deputy mayor for culture Justine Simons explained to the Evening Standard that the "zones" would be set up in parts of London where a lot of artists already work, such as Hackney Wick and Peckham.

Brick Lane art

Sadiq Khan said during his campaign for mayor that working spaces for people within the creative industries, such as the arts and fashion, would be made.

Simons also suggested that assistance could be given to artists who want to buy their own studios.

She said: "The property market moves so quickly that by the time people have put grants together and applied for sponsorship the property is off the market, so it's the kind of intervention that is about accessing finance to allow creative people to put down roots and buy infrastructure and create ownership.

"At the moment artists and creative people are like the advance party - they find the stranger, weird places that no-one sees much value in, they bring them to life, the area becomes valuable and then they are priced out of the market.

Sadiq Khan

"What we want to create is an area where creative people can put down roots and that would be a creative enterprise zone. That's working with local authorities, developers with the creative community and residents. It's putting a spotlight and a ring around an area."

If nothing is done, 30% of artists' spaces in the next five years could be lost. Last year, two-thirds of artists based in the UK earned £10,000, while the average London property price sits at around £600,000.