Lewisham Council and the Mayor of London have today launched the capital’s first Creative Enterprise Zone in New Cross and Deptford, to support the growth of the creative sector in the borough. In a further boost to the area, the Council has helped secure funding for a new enterprise hub to support small businesses to thrive.
Lewisham Labour are committed to building an economy that works for the many. This means ensuring that all residents can benefit from the opportunities available in the capital, and supporting small businesses to thrive.
The Creative Enterprise Zone will build on New Cross and Deptford’s rich artistic heritage, and its thriving creative and digital sector. Working with local artistic and educational institutions, the Council has secured over £500,000 from the Mayor of London to support the growth of the sector. The Creative Enterprise Zone will:
- Increase access to affordable workspace so creatives can put down roots and stay in our community – including 85 new affordable artists’ studios opening in Deptford at Second Floor Studios.
- Provide career pathways for our young people from school into further education, higher education and to a career in the creative sector
- Support creative businesses to connect and collaborate
- Link creative enterprises to the skills, expertise and facilities of Lewisham’s education and cultural institutions
Alongside the launch of the Creative Enterprise Zone, it was today announced that Lewisham Council and Goldsmiths University of London have been successful in winning over £1.6m worth of funding from the Mayor of London to create a new Enterprise Hub on New Cross Road.
Building on the existing network of Lewisham Deks, the new enterprise hub will support local entrepreneurs and students to develop their business ideas, with a particular focus on supporting residents from black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Delivering on a manifesto commitment, the enterprise hub will provide access to affordable workspaces for 100 local businesses, and it will create 80 new jobs.
Cllr Andre Bourne, Cabinet Lead for Culture said:
“Art and culture has the power to transform communities and bring them together. Deptford and New Cross have an incredible history of art and culture, and they have been leading the way in this area. The Creative Enterprise Zone will have an impact in showcasing our creative businesses and provide local people with training and employment.”
Cllr Joe Dromey, Cabinet Lead for Employment and Skills said:
“New Cross and Deptford have long had a thriving creative and artistic community. It’s one of the things that makes our area such a fantastic and vibrant place to live. The Creative Enterprise Zone will help the creative and digital sector to grow, bringing more high quality jobs, and helping young people access these fantastic opportunities.
“We committed in our manifesto to opening more enterprise hubs, so we are delighted to have secured funding for one in the heart of New Cross. It will help students and entrepreneurs to innovate and create jobs and opportunities locally.”
Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan said:
“The opening of the Deptford Foundry is fantastic news for Lewisham. Deptford and New Cross have a vibrant and unique identity thanks to the diverse range of artists and creative enterprises that have made their home here, so providing affordable workspace for over 100 of them will mean they can thrive and inspire others.
“I am delighted the Mayor of London chose Deptford and New Cross as one of the capital’s first Creative Enterprise Zones. Along with funding from the Good Growth Fund and Strategic Investment Pot to support the new Goldsmiths enterprise hub, it will boost Lewisham’s creative reputation regionally, nationally and internationally.”