Last October Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, set up the Creative Land Trust, an initiative to create affordable studio spaces to ensure that London’s arts professionals stay in the city. In collaboration with Studiomakers, a group of philanthropists and entrepreneurs, Khan was able to convince developers and landowners to create more workspaces for artists while keeping existing ones. London City Island is the result of this effort, a new cultural hub expected to entice all manner of artists and arts organization for its affordability and sustainability, ArtDaily reports. A number of institutions are planning a move to the island: the London Film School; the English National Ballet and English National Ballet School; and the Line, East London’s contemporary art walk. Arebyte, an expanded media and performance art space, will also be moving there and creating new studios.
A report ordered by the mayor’s office in 2014 estimated that 3,500 artists’ spaces in London would be lost by 2019 due to escalating real estate prices. It was in response to this report that Khan and Studiomakers united to find a solution. Together, they are working to make sure that London City Island has a cultural program that is indeed artist-led.
“It is my vision to make London City Island a home for art and creativity in the capital. This collaboration is particularly exciting as it will provide artistic talent with long-term and affordable opportunities for generations to come. The new creatives, brought to the island through this partnership, will integrate with our culturally rich mix of tenants and residents,” said Sean Mulryan, the chairman and chief executive of Ballymore Group, the development company behind London City Island.