London's City Hall wants to offer artists protection from unaffordable rent - News - Mixmag
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London's City Hall wants to offer artists protection from unaffordable rent

Dedicated zones for creatives could be created in Hackney Wick and Peckham

  • Dave Turner
  • 13 September 2016

New proposals are in the works to offer creatives in London protection from property developers.

Justine Simons, the deputy mayor for culture, outlined plans to the Evening Standard, specifying Hackney Wick in east London and Peckham in south-east London as areas that could have dedicated artist zones.

She said: “Infrastructure is a big challenge for this city. You grow as a capital city and that puts pressure on infrastructure that layers down into the arts world.

“If you look at the average salary of an artist it’s about £10,000 a year. The average property price in London is about £600,000 a year. There is real pressure on affordability. We’re predicting we’ll lose 30 per cent of artist spaces in the next five years so that is a particular pressure area.”

Simons, who is set to work with London's Night Czar once they've been appointed, wants artists to be able to "create ownership" of an area, rather than being priced out of the market.

She added: “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.

“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.”

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

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