ADD2043 Research towards a Mayor's Creative Land Trust

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
25 October 2016
Decision by: 
Jackie Mcnerney, Acting Head of Culture

Executive summary

The Mayor has committed to supporting the creation of affordable workspace for artists in London and in Creative Enterprise Zones in particular. Additional research has supported the creation of a dedicated fund to provide financing and hold land / property for this purpose. The structure of this entity needs to be developed through a consultancy. Outset Contemporary Art Fund has been granted funding from Arts Council England to pursue this aim. This funding is being matched by a grant from Mayor of London. The relationship will be governed by grant agreement with a series of deliverables and payment conditions outlined. 


That the Acting Head of Culture approves:

1.    Entry into a grant agreement with Outset Contemporary Art Fund to develop the funding model to support affordable workspace for artists in London, including managing a procurement process for necessary advisors / consultants.

2.    Expenditure of £30k from the Culture budget towards this grant.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    In 2014 a Mayor of London commissioned study predicted the loss of a minimum of 3,500 artists’ workspaces by 2019, with evidence that many artists are opting to move abroad to cities like Berlin, Rotterdam and Brussels. Losing these studios and the resulting depletion of dynamic talent in London will have a negative effect on the city’s creative industries, tourism, the quality of life in London, and reduce the pull factors of the UK business environment.  

1.2    Additional research in 2016 commissioned by Mayor of London and Arts Council England, looked at existing financing models for artist’s workspace provision and set out a number of recommendations, including the establishment of a central fund dedicated to securing affordable workspace. 

1.3    In response to this work, Outset, a philanthropic fund has begun to partner with organisations in the property industry - from local authorities to landowners and private developers - to secure long term spaces for production for artists, makers and creatives. Outset has been allocated £30k in funding from Arts Council England to develop the model of the fund and has matched this amount with internal resource to manage the process. 

1.4    Outset will manage the procurement of a specialist consultant to develop a financial and legal model in consultation with GLA Culture Team and Arts Council England. The consultants will be required to report to a steering group at regular intervals throughout. The outcome of the consultancy will be reported to the Mayor’s culture delivery group before being finalised. It is likely that a further procurement process will be required to establish a management company for the fund; no budget requirement is anticipated for this. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

•    Design of the financial model and ownership structure of the entity/entities with the mandate to fund the acquisition and/or creation of workspace for creatives 
•    Creation of the operational and legal underpinnings of the structure.  

Equality comments

3.1    This is a research project which does not have an immediate relevance to the general duty to promote equality

Other considerations

4.1    Additional funding may be required to complete this project. Outset Contemporary Art Fund will carry the risk of achieving this funding. 

4.2    This project links to the Mayor’s manifesto commitments to provide affordable workspace for artists in London; to support the creation of Creative Enterprise Zones; and to develop a Cultural Infrastructure Plan. 

Financial comments

5.1    The expenditure being requested in this decision will be funded from existing income within the Culture budget, generated through hires of Sacrilege. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of consultants

28 October 2016

Delivery Start Date

4 November 2016

Main milestones – presentation to Mayor’s culture delivery group

9 December 2016

Evaluation legal and financial models by GLA legal and governance teams

Mid-January 2017

Investment Agreement (Budget setting)

End February 2017

Announcement by Mayor if budget agreed

March 2017

Project Closure: [for project proposals]


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