CVAN London 5 priorities for London studios and meanwhile spaces

On 14th April the City Spaces Knowledge Exchange discussed critical issues facing studio spaces and city infrastructure, the financial precarity of artists and the challenges of London living, the loss of more than 70,000 public assets and our shared aim to support artists.

As part of this conversation, we looked to begin a different conversation to enable an inclusive and diverse arts community to develop and maintain their career in London. In doing so, the visual arts can continue to contribute to London’s culture and creative economy.

Using a process of co-production, the findings from the knowledge exchange event[1], past network meetings and individual conversations with studio providers, developers, cultural advisors and arts organisations, a long list of list of opportunities that could unlock and develop a sustainable model in London was created.

Network members then selected their 5 priorities to take forward in an approach that advocates for early, honest and frank conversations with all partners (developers, landlords, local authorities, investors et al).

CVAN London 5 priorities:

  1. Seed funding[2].
  2. Re-modelling of Section 106 e.g., enabling developers to deliver equitable and innovative outcomes for the creative sector[3]
  3. Boldly mobilise the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) as an investment model for artist, arts spaces and art programming, including the safeguarding of low cost studio spaces as essential infrastructure
  4. Create a sub-category for the visual arts economies; workspace charities and not-for-profit organisations (separate from co-working spaces, profit-based models)
  5. Advance collaborative practice and resource between and across Priority Places, Creative Enterprise Zones and London boroughs

Our thanks go to all colleagues for their time, knowledge and expertise in the co-production of these 5 priorities.

See the long list on New/Events

[1] Speakers included Stevan Tennant, Managing Director Development, Ballymore Group; Lea O’Loughlin, Co-Director, Acme Artist Studios; Lois Stonock, Founder & Director, Metroland Cultures; Gordon Seabright, Chief Executive, Creative Land Trust and John Newbigin OBE, Member of the Mayor’s Cultural Leadership Board and Chair of the Counterculture Partnership

[2] For example, the provision of  a regenerative fund that can be used as seed funding, to include new  studio providers, that is then returned to the central fund to be used by the next provider in need.

[3] An alternative to the “social value” requirements as a metric system put by the Social Value Portal is needed. This prevents studios from competing for Section 106 spaces or they are confronted with ‘additional’ requirements that are unaffordable (SPACE is doing a study into this issue with Central St Martins/ University of East London).


5 Priorities for city studios and meanwhile spaces [CVAN London]