The City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee has backed the proposals, all of which align to recommendations made by the Culture and Commerce Taskforce.

Under the plans, businesses and creatives will work together across the capital to enliven shops, offices and foyers with art, boosting footfall and attracting people back into the city.

Wendy Hyde, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, says the creative industries are “deeply rooted in the history and fabric” of London, adding that the sector is “part of what makes the capital so attractive to visitors, residents and workers”.

Taskforce outlines plans for London recovery from Covid-19 ‘cultural catastrophe’

The initiatives, each of which will receive initial incubator funding of £20,000 from the City of London Corporation, will aim to equip young people with new skills to boost creative sector career prospects and support smaller businesses to diversify their offer while traditional revenue streams remain unsustainable.

This fundamental vision fits with the blueprint outlined in the Fuelling Creative Renewal report, published earlier this year, which calls for a strengthening of ties between businesses and the creative sectors in order to boost London’s economic growth as the city recovers from the pandemic.

Rallying recovery

The five projects backed by the scheme are:

Enhancing the City

This scheme will help fill shops, offices and foyers across the City with art, animating the area, attracting visitors and workers and boosting footfall.

Co-designed by the City Corporation, Culture Mile and a range of cultural and commercial orgainsations, including ArtUltra, Artiq, Linklaters, Brookfield and Dominvs, the partners will work together to showcase London’s creativity and attract people back into the Square Mile.

The programme will include an exhibition trail featuring creative works across the windows and foyers of City shops and offices, showcasing corporate art collections, emerging artists and a series of new commissions.

Creative Skills London 2021

Creative Skills London will bring together young people at a five-day workshop in the summer holidays so they can get information about career options and pathways into the creative sector.  All participants will be from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the creative industries.

The City of London Corporation and Culture Mile Learning will work with partners including Foundation for Future London and the Trampery, alongside a range of commercial enterprises, to deliver the scheme.

Creatives for London

Creatives for London will encourage commissioning organisations across the Square Mile to employ artists and creatives in their built environment project teams.

A series of City of London Corporation projects will be researched to understand the ways in which the skills and expertise of creatives have been drawn upon and the value that this has added to the project. The learning from this will be shared with civic and commercial partners in order to inform good practice more widely across the City.

Creative Exchange

The Creative Exchange programme will link businesses and artists together to deliver a wide-ranging skills and knowledge-sharing programme between the creative and commercial sectors.

The project, developed by Culture Mile, is supported by founding partner Bloomberg L.P to help place creative communities at the centre of economic recovery, with further contributions from organisations across the creative and commercial sectors.

Create in the City

Create in the City will help redesign commercial space into creative workspace hubs, supporting small, diverse, creative businesses, and providing flexible spaces fit for a post-pandemic world.

A brokerage model supporting owners, occupiers and employers will be explored to support this approach.

The City Corporation will work with partners including New Diorama Theatre, British Land, BE Offices and The Trampery to model how culture and commerce can work together to establish a series of creative workspace hubs.

With the creative industries having been growing at more than four times the rate of the UK economy as a whole prior to the pandemic, the City of London Corporation believes cultivating fresh talent and retaining a strong creative sector is vital for the city’s future prosperity.

“By working together, businesses and creatives can be a driving force in the Square Mile’s recovery,” asserts the Culture and Commerce Taskforce’s chair, Lord Mayor of London William Russell. “This partnership will help to attract people back to the city as we reopen in new and exciting ways.”

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