New creative projects will help power City’s COVID recovery

Five creative schemes designed to help the Square Mile recover from the pandemic have been given the green light today.

Under the plans, businesses and creatives will work together to animate shops, offices and foyers across the City with art, boosting footfall and attracting people back into the Square Mile.

Young people will learn new skills to help them build careers in the creative sector and commercial sites will be redesigned into dynamic workspaces, supporting small, diverse, creative businesses and providing flexible spaces fit for a post-pandemic world.

The City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee today backed the proposals, which follow recommendations by the Culture and Commerce Taskforce, chaired by Lord Mayor William Russell in partnership with the City of London Corporation and its creative district Culture Mile.

Its Fuelling Creative Renewal report, published this year, set out a blueprint for stronger ties between businesses and the creative sectors to boost London’s economic growth as the UK recovers from the pandemic.

The five projects 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 Properties 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.

Chair of the Culture and Commerce Taskforce, Lord Mayor of London William Russell said:

“I am really excited to see these fantastic collaborations between culture and commerce playing a critical role as the City begins to build back better.

“By working together, businesses and creatives can be a driving force in the Square Mile’s recovery.

“This partnership will help to attract people back to the City as we reopen in new and exciting ways.”

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said:

“The creative sector is deeply rooted in the history and fabric of the City and part of what makes the capital so attractive to visitors, residents and workers.

“As the UK’s fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities, we’re supporting the creative sector so that it can play a leading role in London’s reopening.

Culture is at the heart of the City and helps make it so special. The vibrancy and buzz which make it such an exciting place in which to work and visit is fast returning.”

The five projects will receive incubator funding of £20,000 from the City of London Corporation alongside further investment from partners involved in the schemes.

Prior to the pandemic, the creative industries were growing at more than four times the rate of the UK economy as a whole and contributed £115 billion gross value added (GVA) the UK economy. Developing the talent pipeline and retaining and strong creative sector is therefore an integral factor for London’s future prosperity.


Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

About the Culture & Commerce Taskforce

It has assembled leading figures from across the capital’s commercial, civic, tech, and creative organisations to find new ways in which London’s culture and business sectors can work together to maintain the city’s competitive advantage as a global creative and commercial hub.

About Culture Mile

Culture Mile is the City of London’s new cultural district, stretching from Farringdon to Moorgate. Led by the City of London Corporation, with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London, the five partners are together creating a vibrant, creative area in the north-west corner of the Square Mile.


Matthew Cooper

Culture Communications Officer: COVID-19

City of London Corporation

E: matthew.cooper@cityoflondon.gov.uk