Addressing issues of local artists in Britain’s capital, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has promised to offer affordable spaces for artists who are waiting their opportunities to flourish in the big city. Recently, prices for renting property in London have sky rocketed, leading to the displacement of many artists. Despite contributing £32 billion to London’s economy annually, the Greater London Authority stated that between 2014 and 2019, around 3,500 artists are estimated to lose their work places in the city.
Khan is fostering the Creative Land Trust, an organization aiming to provide faster financing for studio providers looking to buy into buildings. The Mayor has also been working with a consortium of entrepreneurs and philanthropists, known as Studiomakers, to tackle how rising rent have affected creative businesses.
“The proposed Creative Land Trust will enable access to finance and soft loans to secure ownership for permanent creative workspace,” an official statement reads. “It will ensure that rents for creative workspace are kept affordable in the long term. Firstly, there would be a loan fund to acquire workspace and secondly, the trust would look to protect buildings in perpetuity for use as affordable workspace. The trust will combine public funds, philanthropy and social impact investment.”
Khan has taken several steps to ameliorate creative and cultural industries int he capital. He recently appointed writer, broadcaster, DJ and performer Amy Lamé as the city’s ‘Night Czar’ to oversee and support the nightlife economy, acting as a mediator between the private and public realms. Lamé said that she plans to address the closure of nightclubs and music venues and implement a vision to grow the city’s nightime economy. A similar position was first inaugurated in 2014 in Amsterdam when the city appointed a ‘Night Mayor’.
“Following the closure of the world-famous nightclub Fabric and at a time when other venues across the capital are under threat, Amy will be a much-needed ambassador for the city after dark,” an official statement reads. ” She will champion London’s nightlife both in the UK and internationally and will do vital work with the night time industries, local authorities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the public to ensure London thrives as a 24-hour city.”