British sculptor Antony Gormley has backed a new initiative to create affordable workspaces for creatives in London. Studiomakers has been set up to broker relationships between artists, designers and anyone seeking low-cost studio spaces, and is appealing to the city’s property developers to integrate studios into new developments in order to maintain London’s position as a culture capital.
With numbers of international visitors reaching almost 19 million in 2015, four out of five say culture is their main reason for coming to London. This is fuelled by thousands of creatives who are struggling to live and work in the city. Last year there was outrage when Southwark council rejected plans to turn a multi-storey car park in Peckham into 800 affordable studios.
The Studiomakers initiative is led by Outset Contemporary Art Fund in association with Second Home, the Mayor of London’s Cultural Team, Create and PLP Architecture.
Create’s director Hadrian Garrard has said: “We are seeing artists struggle more than ever to find affordable space to live and work in London. There is a desperate need for this project which will develop new approaches to providing long-term, affordable workspace (and housing) for artists. We want artists to stay in our city, as neighbours, collaborators and visionaries.”