Tower Hamlets and Hackney mayors welcome progression of Fish Island and Hackney Wick Creative Enterprise Zone bid

Number 90, on the banks of the canal in Hackney Wick. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Number 90, on the banks of the canal in Hackney Wick. Picture: Emma Bartholomew - Credit: Kapranos

The progress of a bid to make Fish Island and Hackney Wick a protected area for artists and creative businesses has been welcomed by the mayors of Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan earmarked the area as a potential Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) and awarded a grant of £50,000 yesterday for the councils to develop their bid.

The scheme aims to support artists and creative businesses by offering reduced business rates and incentives to shield them from the gentrifying impact of land developers.

The application was jointly submitted by the two boroughs as the area sits on the boundary between Tower Hamlets and Hackney. In total 25 boroughs applied for CEZ status.

Their bid, which was submitted in partnership with Olympic Park maintainers London Legacy Development Corporation, was one of 10 to receive financial support to develop their CEZ application.

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Hackney mayor Philip Glanville said: “The Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Quarter is recognised as one of London’s most successful and thriving creative communities.

“I want to ensure Hackney Wick and Fish Island’s creative economy continues to thrive and grow without excluding the very people who made it happen or losing job opportunities for local residents.

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“Being shortlisted as a Creative Enterprise Zone takes us a step closer to having the support of the Mayor of London in realising that ambition, ensuring that Hackney Wick and Fish Island stays as a thriving creative community.”

This was echoed by Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs.

He said: “The creative community in Fish Island and Hackney Wick is well established and has made a significant contribution to the cultural fabric of Tower Hamlets and Hackney.”

The scheme aims to ensure artists, who are often a contributing factor to an area becoming more desirable, do not end up being priced out.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Artists and creative businesses around London breathe life into every corner of our city - but too often they find themselves unable to put down roots due to the spiralling cost of housing and workspace.

“This is a real problem that threatens to undermine London’s position as the world’s creative capital.”

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