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London’s newest Enterprise Hub to boost creative minority entrepreneurs

SOURCE: RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist/Unsplash
London's new enterprise hub will assist minority entrepreneurs from the creative arts.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been investing big in the creative arts.

In December, he announced the capital’s first Creative Enterprise Zones as part of a groundbreaking initiative to support artists and creative businesses, and develop skills and jobs for Londoners.

According to the Mayor of London office, the scheme aims to create more than 3,500 jobs and more than 1,000 new training opportunities for local residents, along with more than 40,000 sq metres of new affordable workspace in the capital.

More recently in February, he launched the independent Creative Land Trust to protect and increase affordable artist workspace following the decline in artist studios in the capital.

At a recent event, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries Justine Simons said London was “overflowing with talent and imagination,” making it a place where people want to work and live.

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“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,” Simons said.

“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.”

One of the city’s latest investments reflects this commitment. At an event celebrating one of Khan’s Creative Enterprise Zones, a new enterprise centre was announced, to be built at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Partially funded by a £1 million investment from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, the Enterprise Hub promises to benefit hundreds of local businesses and entrepreneurs. It will provide a focus for businesses and Goldsmiths students and graduates alike who are eager to start their own creative business or social enterprise.

According to a statement from the Mayor of London, a terrace of shops on New Cross Road will be refurbished into the new hub which will provide training and advice, with a particular focus on supporting creative entrepreneurs from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

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“The service will nurture innovative ideas generated in the Lewisham area and help them to grow into successful new businesses and social enterprise projects that benefit the community,” said Pro-Warden of Research and Enterprise at Goldsmiths, Professor David Oswell.

“Local residents have long suggested that the shops on New Cross Road need major refurbishment, so this is about taking the opportunity as we do this to give Lewisham a focal point for creative innovation.”

Plans are for the new facility to provide access to affordable workspaces for up to 100 local businesses and to create 80 new jobs.

Goldsmiths is famous for its study of creative, cultural and social subjects, and is a key driver in the city’s fast-growing creative sector.