Putting creative ambitions in the right spaces
Our ambition is to give cultural industries room to grow, to innovate and to breathe across the Thames Estuary. To do this, we must provide the right physical spaces for our creative communities and cultural partners.
We are working with a mix of stakeholders to develop a long-term collective and strategic model to provide more spaces for cultural production. We will do this by identifying, unlocking and transforming underused buildings for the Creative & Cultural Industries’ (CCI) use, while continuing to support existing and planned cultural infrastructure.
Opening up existing spaces that offer opportunities for sustainable mixed-use in the short, mid and long term will allow us to realise our creative ambitions; we are connecting building owners, developers, investors and CCI sector organisations to make best use of these existing assets. Our model will allow us to begin negotiations with building owners to provide interim creative solutions for empty shops and office spaces, while exploring options for permanent use by creative businesses.
A programme of work to bring more spaces back into creative use is underway, including a cultural infrastructure map to identify existing properties for potential CCI use as well as new projects and opportunities for the sector. Work will range from feasibility studies and research into the transfer of property assets, to creating cross-industry toolkits on developing and maintaining sustainable workspace.
Throughout the process, we will share learnings and best practice to raise the ambitions of existing partners and national organisations. We are committed to inclusive growth and reflecting the communities of the Estuary, environmental sustainability, equality and diversity will inform all aspects of the project.
Two pilot projects for Creative Assets Development are underway in Chatham and Thurrock.
Image credit: the Old Waterworks library © Anna Lukala