Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London announced today that Deptford will be one of the first Creative Enterprise Zones in the capital. This is great news for Lewisham, and fantastic news for Deptford.
Deptford has an exciting, artistic and innovative community. Anyone who visited the Cockpit Arts open studios a couple of weeks ago, or who took in any of Deptford X, would have seen some of the fantastic creative talent we have in our area. It is one of the things that makes Deptford such a great place to live. It is also an increasingly important part of our economy.
Lewisham has a thriving creative sector, which has seen jobs growth at twice the rate of the capital as a whole in recent years. We are committed to building an economy that works for the many, and our creative sector is a key part of that.
The Creative Enterprise Zone, and the £500,000 of funding we have secured, will help build on this strength. The scheme, which was a key promise in the Mayor of London’s manifesto, aims to protect and support the growth of the artistic and creative sector in London. It brings together a partnership of organisations across Deptford and New Cross to support the sector to grow, and to create more good jobs.
While we’ve seen a reduction in the amount of affordable workspace across the capital in recent years, the Creative Enterprise Zone will help protect and increase the availability of affordable and flexible workspace for creatives in the area.
In addition to promoting affordable workspace, the Creative Enterprise Zone will help support creatives locally to connect, collaborate and innovate. It will link business up to the skills, expertise and facilities at the borough’s educational and cultural institutions, including our partners at Goldsmiths University, the Albany, and Trinity Laban. It will also help support career pathways from school into further education, higher education, and creative employment, so that young people growing up here can follow their passion and build a career in the sector.
You can find out more about the Deptford and New Cross Creative Enterprise Zone here.
Joe Dromey is Lewisham’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Skills and Jobs (job share)