Author: research


Redbridge is a Greater London borough in North East London and has a population of just fewer than 295,000. The borough, which is governed by Redbridge London Borough Council , can be legitimately described as a leafy and green suburb due to the fact that at least one quarter of the borough comprises of parkland and green spaces.

Redbridge actually has over thirty five parks and some of these such as Hainault Forest Country Park, are over three-hundred acres in size. Other parks include; Roding Valley Park which is a wildlife sanctuary, and Fairlop Waters Country Park which offers a range of activities that are both on and off the water.

The much-acclaimed Valentines Park is home of Valentines Mansion – a Georgian country house and gardens that attracts thousands of visitors every year.  It hosts art exhibitions, special events and creative workshops.

The top floor of Valentines has been converted into artists’ studios which allow visitors to view the studios, meet artists and view their work. Private art exhibitions can be arranged also.

Other venues related to arts and culture in Redbridge include; Redbridge Drama Centre which is in Churchfields, South Woodford – it offers young people the chance to take part in professional performances and it also puts on several live performances throughout the year. It also has a studio and edit suite where film and videos are produced.

Kenneth More Theatre on Oakfield Road, Ilford opened in 1975 and hosts diverse performances including; musicals, plays, matinees, dance and cabaret.

Redbridge Museum is situated in Redbridge Central Library and is run by the borough council – it explores the different people, places and events which are part of the history of the borough of Redbridge. Since opening in 2000, it has worked with hundreds of local people, and has produced more than 70 exhibitions and displays, attracting more than 200,000 visitors.


The borough council is actively involved in the creative and cultural industries and awards annual Redbridge Arts Grants – this is part of a community grant scheme that is available to voluntary organisations that support, develop and promote art- and cultural-related activities, and totals £27,000 annually.

Redbridge College is a vocational college offering a wide range of courses to over 2,500 students across two campuses in Chadwell Heath and Ilford Town Centre.  The college has a wide range of courses that are related to the creative and cultural industries – departments include; Graphic Design; Computing & Digital Technology; and Performing Arts & Media & Music.  The courses from the latter are taught at the Chadwell Heath Campus where a 250-seat theatre was recently completed for use by the students.

There are of course other areas in London that we have detailed for our readers, such as Camden, Croydon & Ealing.

Redbridge Borough Council supports entrepreneurs from all sectors with Enterprise Desk – aside from other resources, it provides co-working space with free WiFi and business mentorship.

This study will examine further levels of support for those involve in the CCI sector – it will focus on grants, funding, courses, links with institutions, and co-working and office space facilities in the borough and where possible around the world.

Additional resources: United Nations Cultural Organisation


The London Borough of Newham is a borough formed from the former Essex counties of West Ham and East Ham.  It is located in East London, running north from the banks of the River Thames and sat between Canary Wharf and Barking.  It is approximately 5 miles to east of the City of London and has a population just shy of 325,000.

London City Airport is located within Newham, as is the Olympic Park in Stratford City – the main venue for the London Olympic Games of 2012. The facilities used for the games have been adapted so as to provide long-term, world-class sports and leisure amenities for the residents of Newham.  Local premiership team, West Ham United Football club adopted the 60,000-seater Olympic Stadium as their home ground following the tournament.

Newham is also home to the ExCeL Exhibition Centre and international convention centre.  It has hosted a whole range of events including; The International Boat Show – fully-utilising its dockside setting, Bollywood events, Grand Designs Live, and the 2009 G-20 London Summit, to name just a few.

The University of East London has three London campuses, two are located in Newham – Stratford and Docklands, and the third is located in the City of London.  The university has two schools that are linked with the CCI sector – The School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, and The School of Art and Digital Industries.


The Rosetta Art Centre is located in Newham – this is a visual art organisation which delivers courses and creates participatory art projects, programmes and initiatives.

The Newham Music organisation has hubs in Plaistow and Stratford.  It works with over 10,000 young people every year providing high-quality music education and opportunities throughout the borough.  In 2012, they were awarded ‘Hub’ status by the Department of Education through Arts Council England and work with partners ranging from the Barbican to Stratford Circus.

Stratford Circus provides world-class, yet accessible, creative experiences and performances to the people in Newham.  They were a founding partner of the East London Cultural Education Partnership, delivering creative opportunities for children and young people across the borough and the rest of East London.

Their building at Theatre Square receives more than 125,000 visitors a year and is a key resource for the local community. They also hire out space to artists, schools and other local groups as well as corporate clients and promoters. Newham Sixth Form College is branded as NewVic and is London’s largest sixth form college with over 2,500 full-time students.  The college has vibrant and well-established art and design, media, and performing arts departments with a large range of programmes. More information on Accessible Science and Higher Educational Learning are recommended for general learning requirements in the UK.

The college has strong links with leading creative arts universities including; Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Italia Conti Drama School and SSR Studios, amongst others.

NewVic also operates the Fashion and Textile Museum which is a cutting edge centre for contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery. It was founded by British designer Zandra Rhodes, and houses permanent and changing exhibitions exploring elements of fashion, textile and jewellery as well as the Academy which runs courses for creative students and businesses and a hub of learning, ideas and networking for the fashion and jewellery industry.

This study will examine the current position and future of the CCI sector throughout the borough of Newham, it will explore the contribution of the sector to the local economy focussing amount of jobs existing and to be created, both directly and indirectly.  It will also explore the development of existing and new facilities that will fuel the creative and cultural ecosystem with Newham.



Merton is located in South West London and is a borough of Greater London.  It has a population of just over 200,000 and its main commercial centres are Mitcham, Morden and Wimbledon, the latter of which being the largest.  The borough is best known as the home of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club – the venue for the annual Wimbledon Championships – the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on grass. The local government website for Merton can be located here.

Merton is also well-known in other circles as a location for much of the filming for former ITV police drama, The Bill, particularly the districts of Mitcham and Colliers Wood. The set of Sun Hill police station was also located in the borough. The Talkback Thames television studio that was used is located on Deer Park Road.

Notably, in 2003, the largest mosque in Western Europe was opened in the borough. The Baitul Futuh mosque can accommodate up to 10,000 people and was built at a cost of over £5 million which this was entirely donated voluntarily by the Ahmadiyya Community.

South Thames College is a Further Education college that has three South West London campuses; Wandsworth, Tooting and Merton.  The Merton campus is located on London Road.  The college provides education in many areas related to the creative and cultural sector with the following departments; ‘Art, Fashion and Graphic Design’, ‘Film, Media and Multimedia’, ‘Games Design and Development’, ‘Languages and Writing’, ‘Music and Performing Arts’, and ‘Musical Instrument Making and Repair’.

Wimbledon College of Art was formerly Wimbledon School of Art and is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London.  It currently has around 800 students on their Fine Art and Theatre and Screen courses which run up to Masters level.

The Merton Arts Festival is held in September every year – it is described by the organisers as; “an explosion of art in Merton in September where creativity will be everywhere involving everyone.” Using various venues across the borough, there are open studios where the public can get involved with creating and can also buy and commission various pieces.

For information on potential office spaces that are available to rent in the surrounding regions, we highly recommend The Office Providers – A UK based commercial real estate specialist who offers free advice, support and guidance to new start ups, existing companies and anyone in need of help.

The Official Website address is:

They can also be found on FacebookTwitter & Google +


London Borough of Merton commissioned a report in 2012 that was produced in conjunction with Shared Intelligence and was entitled, ‘London Borough of Merton – Economic Narrative’. It explored the economy as whole and in the section dedicated to the cultural and creative industries it discovered that media, creative and cultural industries employ approximately 2,000 people in borough which was the equivalent to 2.9% of total employment, higher than the equivalent proportion in England (2.4%) but lower than the average for London as a whole (5.2%).


It also discovered that within the larger umbrella of media, creative and cultural industries, there were a number of more specific sub‐sectors:

  • Publishing: 385 jobs
  • Computer software development and publishing: 550 jobs
  • Architecture and design: 400 jobs
  • Arts & Heritage: 430 jobs
  • Media and photography: 240 jobs

The above figures did not include the Wimbledon College of Arts, which, though an

educational body, is clearly an important factor in the local creative economy. Including the college would give a further 200 jobs.

It found there were 237 firms in the media, creative and cultural sectors. None of these firms employed more than 250 people, though the largest employer, Square Enix, was close with approximately 240 staff. The other significant employer was Trader Publishing Ltd, a newspaper publishing firm based in Wimbledon.

This study will examine the current economic narrative in Merton in relation to the CCI sector and how it compares to 2012.  It will investigate funding and grants including the arts development fund provided by the London Borough of Merton.  It will also examine any other facilities such as creative hubs, co-working spaces, studios and office spaces.



The district of Kensington is located in west central London within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.  Regarded as an affluent district, it is home to several highly-regarded performance venues including; the Royal Albert Hall, Earls Court, and the Royal College of Music, highlighting strong links with the cultural and creative industries.

The cultural and creative industries are clearly entwined in the DNA of Kensington – this is evidenced by the holding of the annual Creative Quarter event in the district.  In 2016, it will take place on Friday 18th November – it is a day of free events offering 13-19 year old students the chance to explore work in the creative and cultural industries.  Several events are organised by the aforementioned institutions as well as many others that are clustered within the district.  There will also be other events hosted by a range of guests including; the organisers of Glastonbury festival and make-up artists from West-End musicals, amongst many others.

The Royal Albert Hall is located in South Kensington and opened in 1941, it hosts the Proms annually as well as up to 400 other concerts from a range of genres.


Earls Court opened in the 1880s and was refurbished to its more familiar art-deco styling in 1937. It is an exhibition centre hosting diverse events ranging from Crufts to the Brit Awards, was a venue for certain sporting events during the 2012 London Olympics, and is also a music venue that has hosted performers ranging from David Bowie to Oasis.

This study will examine the health of the creative and cultural industries within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, any changes in direction and any new developments or pivots. It will also study the support framework and toolkits available to both existing and new companies looking to be a part of the CCI sector within the borough.  It will look at the existence of creative co-working hubs such as Kensington Creates and other forms of flexible workspace such as that found on Kensington High Street such as that at No. 239, opposite Holland Park. For more information on locating property in the regions, take a look at The Kensington Office Providers website here.  There will be continued research into grants and funding available as well as scholarships to assist with tuition in the borough.  It will also examine the current and future economics of the CCI sector in the borough.

The Royal College of Music provides education and training at all levels up to doctorate level in all areas of Western Art including performance, composition, music theory as well as history. The college also undertakes research, with a particular strength in performance practice and performance science.  The Royal College of Music is located directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall on Prince Consort road in an area known colloquially as ‘Albertopolis’ – an area centred on Exhibition Road and named after Prince Albert – it is home to a large number of both educational and cultural intuitions, and is split in governance between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and the City of Westminster.


The Royal College of Music has three performance venues, the largest of which being the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall – a 468-seat hall that was built in 1901 and extensively restored in 2009.

A more recent addition to Kensington’s cultural institutions will be the Design Museum. The original museum was opened in 1989 on the banks of the River Thames close to Tower Bridge.  Thanks to a £17.5 million donation by Sir Terence Conran, the museum will move from Tower Bridge to a purpose-built building on Kensington’s High Street – this is due to happen in November of 2016.  The museum will display pieces including the first laptop and the AK47, amongst many others – it is hoped to attract up to 600,000 visitors per year.

Although far from Fleet Street, Kensington also has strong links with the newspaper sector – Northcliffe House on Derry Street, is the headquarters of several newspapers including; The Independent, I, and others.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has commissioned several reports onto the creative and cultural sectors within the borough, the most recent being the 2012, ‘Cultural Placemaking in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’ produced in partnership with BOP Consulting and Future City. The report discusses the borough as a whole which incorporates other major cultural events including the Notting Hill Carnival and the Chelsea Flower Show, amongst others.

It highlights the many creative businesses located within the borough including; Monsoon and Cath Kidston from the world of fashion; Granta Books from journalism and publishing; and EMI,

Sony and Universal Music representing the music and entertainment industry. The full report can be found here





Borough of Camden

The London Borough of Camden is a part of Inner London with a population of just over 230,000. It covers 8.4 square miles of North West London, with its northern boundary at Hampstead Heath and its southern boundary reaching Central London bordering the West End.

The local authority is Camden London Borough Council and their town hall is Judd Street in St Pancras. It is noted that the council provides a range of business support services on their business page, more details for the Council’s Business Support services can be found here.

When one thinks of Camden, it is easy to immediately think of Camden Town and its eclectic mix of markets, restaurants, bars and live music venues including; Camden Lock Market, Stables Market, Electric Ballroom, Shaka Zulu, The World’s End, the Roundhouse, KOKO, Camden Highlight and the Etcetera theatre, to name just a few.

Just these alone would convince anyone that the Borough has a thriving cultural and creative industry sector, however, there are even more related institutions throughout the wider Borough including; The British Museum in Bloomsbury – home to some 8 million works and one of the largest collections in existence, the Camden Arts Centre, Kenwood House, The Place dance training and performance centre, the British Library – home to over 14 million books, the Charles Dickens Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum and The Cartoon Museum, to mention just a selection.

Camden is home to several educational institutions and perhaps some of these are better-associated with the medical sector, however, both Regents University London and UCL provide a comprehensive range of courses at different levels in the arts. There are four further education colleges in Camden all offering a range of courses, however, the Fine Arts College Hampstead  is the only one that specialises in the arts and humanities.

In 2009, London Borough of Camden commissioned, ‘Creative and Cultural Industries in Camden – A Research Report and Action Plan’.

The report found that businesses and organisations in the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) in Camden had, at that time, an estimated gross turnover of between £950 million and £1.2 billion – this represented 15% of Inner London’s CCI turnover, or 10% of Greater London’s CCIs. Camden’s CCIs contributed approximately 2% to UK CCI sector’s national turnover.

It was discovered that 16% of all CCI jobs in Camden are held by local residents of Camden. On that basis, about 10,000 Camden residents are directly employed in CCI work in Camden-based businesses. This excluded a significant amount of self-employed, part-time and micro-business activity, that are either home-based or, more recently, likely to work out of co-working space/hubs.

There are now various co-working hubs in Camden including; Work.Hubs on Euston Street, Work.Life on Hawley Crescent and the Camden Collective spaces at Camley Street and Hampstead Road, there are also serviced offices available in the Kings Cross area including a workspace on Grays Inn Lane.

Camden Map

The Borough’s grade-A office space is focussed around Euston Station and examples include Regent’s Place tower and Euston Square, both of which can be seen in more detail with these Office spaces in the Euston region of London.

The report found further positive economic effects generated for those industries linked to CCIs by supply chain/related industries and those arising through visitors (to see performances, for example). This generated a further 25,000 to 50,000 jobs of which 10,000 to 20,000 would be within Camden, and a further £425 million to £850 million in business turnover, of which around half of that would be expectedly spent in Camden.

Between 2009 and 2013 the UK creative industries was predicted to grow by an average at 4% which is more than double the rate of the rest of the economy.

This study will examine the predictions made in terms of the UK CCIs and draw on comparison and conclusions and will focus on Camden’s large influence on the market at a Greater London-level as well as at UK-level, in 2016 and beyond.



The London Borough of Ealing is in west London and forms part of Outer London. It is the 3rd largest London Borough by population, and 11th largest by size. Its administrative centre is Ealing which is a large suburb 12 kilometres west of Charing Cross, the Borough’s administrative offices are located on Ealing Broadway. The Official Ealing Council resources can be found here

Ealing has a deep-rooted history within the creative and cultural space – it is home to both Ealing Studios and to Ealing Jazz Club. The former being the oldest film studios in the world, and have, over the years, being associated with productions including; Doctor Who, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Notting Hill, and The Importance of Being Earnest, to name a few. The Jazz Club, on Ealing Broadway, is famously where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first met Brian Jones, and has hosted musicians including Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart, as well as many more.

Every summer, Ealing provides an impressive itinerary of festivals that include; the Greenford Carnival, Acton Carnival, a beer festival, a comedy festival, a jazz festival, a blues festival, and Eat Drink Ealing. These attract performers from all over the world and thousands of attendees.

In terms of flexible workspace, managed offices and co-working facilities, there are various flexible workspace solutions available at The Office Providers Ealing page here

Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College  is a further education college based across four campuses located in Acton, Ealing, Hammersmith and Southall. The college has 20,000 enrolled students studying courses from school to postgraduate level. The college is a member of the 157 Group – a group of the largest 30 further education colleges in the UK. The group was established in 2006 with the aim of raising the profile and reputation of further education institutions.

The college provides a range of courses related to CCI with departments including: Art & Design, Computing & IT, Media, and Music.

Other creative institutions in Ealing include the Create Art Studio  – a purpose-built studio designed for teaching art on Disraeli Road. It provides both term-time and holidays courses, activities, and birthday parties that provide a low-carbon, environmentally-friendly environment in which children can learn and experience art.

Ealing Map

Creative Community Solutions (CSS)  provides library services in four London Boroughs, and Ealing is one of those. It is collaboration between the library services and Carillion – an international integrated support services business. CSS provide free computers, fast WIFI and digital stock. Ealing’s CSS library on Church Road in Northolt is also home to Creative Work Spaces – this provides further creative amenities such as; 3D printers, vinyl cutters and sewing machines.

This study will continue to explore established and new institutions and their integration into the Ealing CCI ecosystem.

City of London

City of London

The City of London, widely referred to simply as ‘the City’, or ‘the Square Mile’ is both a city and Borough within London. The City is now only a very small geographical part of the metropolis that is Greater London, though it is still considered by some to be the financial capital of the world due to its high concentration of financial service sector organisations, and its economic output across a wider range of industries.

The Borough of the City of London is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Lord Mountevans. The Borough encourages and supports business and enterprise in all sectors, and a gateway to some of this support can be found of the City of London Borough website


In terms of culture and creative industry education, the City is the UK capital – City University London  is home to the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries which provides a rich and thriving academic environment in which to study the CCI sector.  Their world-leading research informs organisations such as UNESCO and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on all matters of cultural policy.

They deliver an MA in Culture, Policy and Management – the longest established programme of its kind in the United Kingdom, being established nearly 40 years.

Their MPhil/PhD in Culture and Creative Industries provides students with the chance to develop their research agenda working with experts in cultural policy and creative industries around the world.

The school also delivers an undergraduate BA in Cultural and Creative Industries – the first of its kind in the UK, and already has formed the basis of a number of international partnerships including one with the Shanghai Theatre Academy.

The institution has been key to fuelling the CCI market’s increasing contribution to the overall economy of the City.

Aside from the direct contribution to the economic output in the City, a report by the City of London Corporation, prepared by BOP Consulting in 2014, estimated that the organisations within the City’s CCI sectors generated an indirect economic impact of £20.4 million in the City of London, in terms of GVA.

Additionally, they also estimated the knock-on economic effect generated by the expenditures of creative people working in the organisations positioned in CCI sectors in the City. In terms of GVA, in the financial year to 2014, it was found that the income effect generated by the cluster was £53 million for the City.

One of the main benefits accrued by firms when locating in clusters is the opportunity of taking advantage of a shorter, more tightly-linked supply chain. Co-working spaces are both the precursor and result of this cluster-effect and allow users to make this supply chain more efficient.

As the demand for co-working options has increased in recent years, by many industries, it is, perhaps, not surprising that many of the operators have chosen the City in which to place themselves. Some examples of popular spaces include;  on Queen Street EC4, and Central Working at Crown Place EC2.


In terms of workspace for general start-ups, there are many options. There are those spaces that would fall into the category of entrepreneurial ‘hubs’ ,‘incubators’ or ‘accelerators’ – these provide space, but also provide access to mentorship and potential funding.  Whilst these are not solely dedicated to creative and cultural industries, they could certainly be used by those within them, especially if they felt they could benefit from the additional services.


A popular space for start-ups for a wide range of industries is Campus which is run by Google for Entrepreneurs.  This is located on Bonhill Street, EC2 and, as well as providing co-working space and event space, it also provides the accelerator space, Seedcamp – this, they describe, is a space in which founders can gain access to first-round finance. More details on Google Entrepreneurs can be found on the official website here.

There are many flexible office space options across the City that offer serviced office space, managed offices, co-working options, as well as, meeting room and virtual office services, these can be found in the EC1, EC2, EC3, and EC4 postcodes.

We have added some useful resources below:

Office Space In the EC1 area of London

Office Space In EC2 area of London

Office Space In EC3 area of London

Office Space In EC4 area of London

There are also workspace solutions in the historic area of Farringdon as well, more can be found on The Office Providers – Serviced Office Space In Farringdon website page.

This will study will continue to research the direct and indirect economic impact of the creative industries in the City of London – it will also focus on the effect of co-working spaces and other flexible workspaces in creating a more tightly-linked supply chain.



The London Borough of Croydon is in South London and is classed as being a part of Outer London. It covers an area of 87 square kilometres and is the largest Borough by population – estimated at 342,000. The Borough of Croydon’s website proudly states that, if Croydon were a city, it would be the 8th largest in the UK.

Croydon is renowned as one of the centres of culture in London and the South East of England. Institutions such as the major arts and entertainment centre, Fairfield Halls, help it to achieve this accolade. Fairfield Halls features a concert hall and the Ashcroft Theatre, the Halls are the home of the London Mozart Players. Fairfield Halls is regularly used by the BBC for tv, radio and orchestral recordings.

Annually, for 10 years up until 2010, Croydon staged a summer festival celebrating the area’s Afro-Caribbean and Indian cultures with audiences reaching over 50,000people. An internet radio station – Croydon Radio, is run by local residents, and the Borough also has its own local TV station – Croydon TV.

A well-known local landmark is Croydon Clocktower – an arts and museum complex located on Katharine Street. The venue contains the Museum of Croydon, the David Lean Cinema – offering a programme of art house and indie films, and a Youth Ambassadors group.

The Clocktower is owned and run by London Borough of Croydon and is actually the tower of Town Hall. The building is also the home of Croydon’s Central Library.

A notable success of The Clocktower was when it held the Picasso exhibition in March to May 1995 – this was locally nicknamed Picasso’s ‘Croydon Period’.

There has been a school of art in Croydon since 1868, and today this takes the form of Croydon School of Art . The school offers both college- and degree-level courses across a range of disciplines encouraging creativity and expression. College-level courses are awarded by the University of the Arts London and university-level courses are validated by the University of Sussex. Recent alumni include Noel Fielding of Mighty Boosh, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks fame.

Croydon’s Economic Development Plan 2013-2018 recommended that the Borough create Enterprise and Innovation Hubs – using existing and purpose-built workspaces to create a collaborative network of small and medium enterprises to share knowledge and resources and build up a local business ecosystem.

An example of a hub that supports the Creative and Cultural Industries is Matthews Yard. This is an arts, cultural and community hub in the centre of Croydon, just off Surrey Street.

The hub provides affordable co-working space for small businesses and freelance workers – it provides administration services such as printing and copying, and business-grade WIFI. There is currently capacity for up to 60 members to co-work at any one time. It also has a café that provides, in their own words, “craft beer, fine wine, quality coffee and the best burgers Croydon has ever seen”.

A regular user of this is CroydonCreatives – this is a monthly gathering of web-based workers from in and around Croydon. They describe themselves as a community of designers, developers and digital creatives. The monthly get-togethers were incepted to create a “break from the screen to chat about what [they] love. Talk about the web, print, typography and design”.

Further flexible workspaces and serviced office options around Croydon can be found at on the Croydon section of The Office Providers website.

London Borough of Croydon provides business support advice for start-up companies and for those looking to grow their business, more details can be found through their dedicated business section of the website.

This study will continue to monitor progress in the Borough with a focus on development of existing and new Enterprise and Innovation Hubs.


The London Borough of Lewisham – the offices of which are located in Catford – is located in South East London, 6 miles south east of Charing Cross. The population of the borough totalled 276,000 at the 2011 Census, Lewisham is the primary settlement with a population of 95,000.

The Borough neighbours; the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Bromley, and the London Borough of Southwark. The latter of which merged one of its institutions with one of Lewisham’s to form Lewisham Southwark College – a further education college, with 16,000 students, that provides courses in a wide range of disciplines including; Art, Dance, Digital Skills, Drama, Fashion, Media, Music, and Technical Theatre.

Lewisham Arthouse is based in the Carnegie Library – the library’s original intended use was to enrich communities though creativity. The Arthouse, today, honours that ethos by providing creative workspace and specialist facilities. Members of the Arthouse share their time, equipment and knowledge with the wider creative communities. Besides renting workspace, each member commits a certain amount of hours per month in support of the Arthouse’s wider, macro programmes.

The London Borough of Lewisham is in support of art and culture and hosts People’s Day every summer. The festival is south east London’s biggest (regularly attracting 25,000 visitors) and longest-running free community festival. It provides music from numerous performers, hundreds of community-led art and craft stalls (as well as many from around the world), and various other forms of entertainment.

According to NOMIS, Lewisham has become a leading centre for creative micro-businesses, with the highest percentage of very small businesses (employing less than 5 people) in the UK.

The Borough’s research found that 75% of these businesses were found to be home-based which revealed that support for this sector was low in the Borough and this was potentially holding back growth for the wider community.

Consequently, the recent Business Growth Strategy 2013–23 recommended that the Borough to address this ‘market failure’ and to ‘expand opportunities for incubator space for new businesses’.

Following the completion of several feasibility studies and discussions with several start-ups, the Borough established the business case for creating a network of flexible workspaces within three Council-owned buildings in Ladywell, Catford and Deptford.

These workspaces have been branded ‘Dek’.



Catford Dek, Deptford Dek, and Ladywell Dek will be operated and managed by the London Small Business Centre and Bow Arts. The Dek spaces will provide high-quality, fully-furnished and serviced co-working spaces. In line with the Business Growth Strategy, these are designed to promote the growth of start-ups and existing businesses that are primarily working within the creative, digital media, business and social enterprise sectors.

The Dek spaces are due to launch in the Summer of 2016 and this study will monitor the progress of this initiative.



Barnet is a suburban borough in North London forming part of Outer London. The Council is Barnet London Borough.

It is the 2nd largest Borough by population with 331,000 residents and is the 4th largest by area covering an area of 87 square kilometres. Barnet borders Hertfordshire and five London boroughs: Harrow, Brent, Camden, Haringey, and Enfield. Barnet’s economy is dominated by small and medium sized businesses and actually has a higher proportion of self-employed residents than London or England.

Barnet currently has a higher proportion of jobs in the distribution, hotel and restaurant sector than for London and the rest of the UK.

In May 2014, Barnet London Borough commissioned Middlesex University Business School’s Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) to produce the report: Developing Barnet’s Economic Strategy.

The CEEDR Project Team comprised of: Professor Stephen Syrett, Dr Rob Baldock, Dr Rachel Granger, Dr David Etherington, Dr Lakshmi Narasimhan Chari, and Pamela Macaulay.

The report made several suggestions, and those relating to CCI Sector start-ups include:

Create an independent business support hub to provide a point of contact and portal to other services. The hub would drive business engagement and networking and provide business information, advice, support and guidance. Services would be provided through a digital portal and then be complemented with a physical presence through various arms comprising of incubator units, which will provide access to advisors, training and educational institutions. The business support policy should focus on key growth sectors which include; IT, business services, health, education, the green economy, and the creative industries.

Provide affordable workspace and incubator units for small businesses to assist new businesses in particular to establish themselves in Barnet and seed micro-business growth. This will be achieved through the development of a series of business incubator units, making use of available Council properties and assets. These should be provided on flexible terms with non-onerous agreements and should incorporate hot-desking, co-working and business centre models.

Promote graduate start-ups in partnership with Middlesex University to support increased entrepreneurship, innovation and start-up activity throughout the Borough. This should particularly focus on building upon a key area of graduate strength of the University i.e. the creative, design, IT and media sectors. This study will continue to report on the implementation of the strategy. There are currently fifteen Council-run libraries in Barnet. There has been controversy over the potential closure (first proposed March 2016) of at least six of these including; Burnt Oak, Childs Hill, Mill Hill, East Finchley, Osidge and South Friern, and there have been petitions signed by thousands handed to the Mayor of Barnet.

This study will revisit this development at a later date.

Barnet Southgate College provides a range of courses related to the creative and cultural industries though its ‘Art, Design and Visual Culture’ department: More details can be viewed here

This study will further report on the further development of business centre and incubator-type space in the Borough. There are currently 3 privately operated business centres in Barnet – one on Western Parade and two on High Street. London Borough Barnet provides advice, information and links to various resources for businesses in all sectors through its website


Follow the latest news from Barnet Council on there official Twitter page here