In 2014 the Mayor of London commissioned the Artists’ Workspace Study, which predicted the possible loss of up to 3,500 artists’ workspaces in the coming 5 years, with evidence that many artists are opting to move abroad to cities like Berlin, Dublin and Brussels. It is expected that losing these studios and the resulting depletion of dynamic, young talent in London will lead to a sterile and lacklustre city. Inevitably this will have knock-on effects for the creative industries, tourism, the quality of life in London, and reduce the pull factors of the UK business environment.
Launched in March 2016 at an event hosted at Antony Gormley’s studio in central London, Studiomakers aims to provide entrepreneurial solutions in response to serious funding needs. It looks to partner with organisations in the property industry – from local authorities to landowners and private developers – to retain existing and create new affordable artist workspaces in London and the UK. It works with studio providers specialised in the field to oversee tenancy and operation of these workspaces. The extent of this will now look for spaces of production, helping not only artists, but also crafts people and other creatives, to ensure that the ecosystem of the creative industry is kept secure in the long term.
A key focus to the solution combines two elements: raising a multimillion-pound fund, through which to facilitate the acquisition of assets, as well as the creation of an ‘Creative Land Trust’ through which assets will be protected in perpetuity for use by artists and other creatives.
Studiomakers is an initiative led by Outset in association with its founding partners Second Home, Create London, PLP Architecture and Bolton & Quinn in support of the Mayor of London‘s mission to protect affordable space for artists.Individual projects within the initiative have been made possible by other partners including Tiffany & Co, Collage Arts, Gaia Art Foundation and Mishcon de Reya.