The Harrow consortium was one of 10 submissions to receive a £50,000 grant to develop their plans to become Creative Enterprise Zones. The new initiative, one of the Mayor of London’s key manifesto priorities, will help creatives put down roots, establish themselves in local areas, attract new artists and creative businesses, and develop skills in local people.
Announcing the awards, Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Too often, creative businesses find it tough to put down roots due to the cost of housing. Our Creative Enterprise Zones will offer a real, practical solution to this problem.”
Working closely with the University of Westminster’s Creative Enterprise Centre, the development grant will be used to research the setting up of a Creative Enterprise Zone in an area with a rich tradition of the creative industries going back to the Kodak factory in 1890 and the Winsor & Newton factory in the 1930s. This aims to help launch new creative businesses and provide employment for students and local residents.
Dr Paul Dwyer, Director of Academic Enterprise, said: “the GLA Creative Enterprise Zone is a fantastic initiative and the combination of local government, business and creative students gives us a great foundation to build on.”
The initiative will further the Creative Enterprise Centre mission to the bridge the gap between the University, industry and the London business community. The Creative Enterprise Centre aims to contribute to improving graduate employability and also supports and enables students and graduates to build, test and launch their creative business or freelance ideas.
Recognising that the creative industries is the fastest growing economic sector in the UK, the Creative Enterprise Zone initiative will enable collaborative research and activities between the University Harrow Council, local creative businesses and organisations; to support and promote the productivity and value of local creative organisations and businesses.