London's City Hall has announced plans to potentially launch "creative enterprize zones" in Hackney Wick and Peckham, in order to keep accomodation affordable for the city's creative community.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, deputy mayor for culture, Justine Simons, 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 founded the World Cities Cultural Forum (a network of international cities working together to promote culture), will work with the newly appointed Night Czar to ensure London's creatives have a future in the city. "It’s the kind of intervention that is about accessing finance to allow creative people to put down roots and buy infrastructure and create ownership," she continues.
“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.”