Lewisham has been chosen as one of the capital’s first-ever Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) by the Mayor of London as part of a ground-breaking initiative to support artists and creative businesses, and develop skills and jobs for Londoners.

Background

Following a successful stage 1 development bid for funding from the Mayor of London to explore the feasibility of setting up a Creative Enterprise Zone, Lewisham was one of ten shortlisted from a competitive bidding process of 24 applications involving 25 boroughs.

The £50,000 funding was granted to allow research and to develop an action plan into how New Cross and Deptford could become a Creative Enterprise Zone based on an emerging base of existing artists, creative businesses and workspaces. That included exploring what local plans and planning guidance will need to be in place for a creative community to thrive, including creative workspaces and affordable living space.

The money also helped to launch SHAPESLewisham that promote, celebrate and connect the Boroughs’ creative and digital industry (CDI) clusters.

To qualify as a Creative Enterprise Zone, boroughs had to focus on four key areas:

  • Space
  • Skills and support
  • Policy
  • Community

The London Borough of Lewisham led a joint application for a stage 2 development grant to set up a Creative Enterprise Zone in New Cross & Deptford, with a consortium made up of Goldsmiths University of London, Trinity Laban, The Albany, Second Floor Studios, Studio Raw and Lewisham Education Arts Network. The Mayor of London made an announcement on the successful stage 2 Creative Enterprise Zone and further development grants on 14th December 2018. Please use this link for further information - https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-announces-first-creative-enterprise-zones.

Shape your Future 

Lewisham’s CEZ ambition is to become London’s most significant digital creative production hub at the gateway to the Thames Estuary Cultural Production Corridor. This requires artists and creatives to better connect and amplify what we have; for creative enterprises to develop stronger roots through affordable and appropriate workspace; and access to the skills, expertise, facilities and connections to our incredible education and cultural institutions.

It also requires us to think and do differently, enabling talent from across the Borough to access pathways to participation and then employment in the creative industries; opening up the expertise and facilities of our educational and cultural institutions towards much more purposeful creative knowledge exchange; and testing new types of collaborative practice to ignite the innovation potential of the creative industries.

Why New Cross & Deptford?

New Cross and Deptford is where the arts meets technology, where socially engaged creative practice realises its commercial potential, and where global excellence in research and teaching connects with one of London’s most radical and high growth creative industries clusters. The area host one of London’s fastest growing clusters of creative activity and a hugely significant centre of creative research, education and entrepreneurship. Anchored by Goldsmiths University of London, Trinity Laban and The Albany, it has an array of distinctive cultural and creative assets stretching across all art-forms and converging commercial, grassroots and social outcomes. Lewisham is a breeding ground for the creative and digital industries with emerging clusters in other areas such as Catford, Forest Hill, Brockley, and Lewisham Central.