ADD2194 Outset Contemporary Art Fund Feasibility Work

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
22 January 2018
Decision by: 
Shonagh Manson, Assistant Director of Culture and Creative Industries

Executive summary

Creative Land Trust will be a new independent trust that will attract public, philanthropic and social investment funds to purchase buildings to provide affordable workspace in perpetuity across the capital. 
 In November 2016, the Mayor announced a feasibility study for the creation of the Creative Land Trust as    
 an innovative solution to finance affordable creative workspace in London. Funding of this feasibility 
 study in partnership with Arts Council England was supported under cover of ADD2043.

A grant of £30,000 was given to Outset Contemporary Arts Fund to enable research into the potential structure of the legal and financial model under which Creative Land Trust could be established and managed.

This decision seeks approval to grant fund Outset a further £15,000 to develop pilot projects, including projects with GLA Land & Property, to set up the legal entity and make an application to the Charities Commission to establish the Creative Land Trust. 


That the Assistant Director of Culture & Creative Industries approves:

1.    Grant funding to Outset Contemporary Arts fund of £15,000 in 2017/18


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Mayor has committed to supporting London’s affordable workspace. In 2014, a study carried out by the Greater London Authority established that research and development spaces for the culture and creative sector are severely under threat. While London’s continued development, expansion and change brings with it extraordinary cultural vibrancy, diversity and creativity, it is also resulting in a threat to maintaining and growing a strong cultural infrastructure. By 2020, the projection from GLA research in 2014 is that 3,500 sites of creative production will be lost.

1.2    In November 2016, the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Outset Contemporary Art Fund jointly commissioned a consultant team to research the options for a tailored initiative in the capital, including scoping its function, remit, legal and financial requirements, and to set out an organisational structure. Outset was previously allocated £30,000 in grant funding from the GLA under cover of ADD2043 to undertake detailed research into the potential model for the Creative Land Trust. Arts Council England also contributed to this work through further grant funding of £30k. There have been two phases to this consultancy work:

(1)    A general feasibility and market review, delivered by The Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action (CIVA).

(2)    A detailed profiling of the financing and operational model, delivered by Investing for Good CIC (IFG).

1.3    As part of the financial modelling for the Creative Land Trust, Investing for Good has been liaising with the GLA Housing and Land team and developing a pilot project in the Royal Docks. Further potential pilots have come about through affordable workspace providers and artists. International legal firm Dechert has been procured for pro-bono legal support to advise on and set up the entity, and this requires some extra days consultancy which will be covered through this grant.  An additional grant is now required to cover this second phase during which the consultants will develop the pilots and steer the legal team through to setting up of the new entity. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The £15,000 detailed within this decision will enable Outset to extend their research and 
feasibility studies of the Creative Land Trust to include GLA Land & Property and develop the legal model and set up the new entity. 

2.2    Outcomes will include: fully developed legal model for the Creative Land Trust; fully set up company and submit formal application to the Charity Commission for the Creative Land Trust; fully developed financial models for up to 4 pilot projects, including public sector owned property.  

Equality comments

3.1    There are no direct impacts regarding equalities for the activities detailed in this decision, 
however the aims of the Creative Land Trust are to increase access to affordable creative workspace for artists in the capital without prejudice and regardless of their age, background, ethnicity or any other protected characteristic.

3.2    This initiative contributes to the draft GLA Equality and Diversity strategy goal 39 to work with all relevant partners to support, save and sustain diverse cultural places & spaces through proactively promoting good growth and addressing barriers to access across the arts including less traditional art forms.

Other considerations

4.1    This work has links to Mayoral Priorities including: 

•    Manifesto commitment to securing affordable creative workspace and affordable live-work space for creative producers in London

•    Producing a Cultural Infrastructure Plan for 2030 to identify what we need in order to sustain London’s future as a cultural capital

•    Setting up and delivering Creative Enterprise Zones, providing dedicated small workspace with live-in space so that creative industries, artists and the fashion industry are given extra support to flourish.

Financial comments

5.1    The proposed grant of £15,000 to Outset Contemporary Arts fund will be funded from the Culture Strategy budget held within the Culture and Creative Industries Unit in 2017/18.


Planned delivery approach and next steps




Grant Agreement

31 January 2018

Further development pilot projects and legal

Spring 2018

Completion of Grant

Spring 2018