Mayor Ken promises to add value to Creative London

Young designers and established consultancies are set to benefit from Ken Livingstone’s Creative London initiative, which launched on Monday with a pledge to add £11bn to the annual value of London’s creative industries over ten years.

Creative London, which functions as a division of the Mayor’s London Development Agency, will offer seed capital for creative start-ups through ten local hubs based around London.

It will support existing events and initiatives and act as an umbrella body for investment in sectors including fashion, music, film-making, theatre and architecture.

Creative London chairman Michael Frye, former chairman of the Royal Society of Arts, says the organisation plans to work with the London Design Festival to promote the capital as a global design centre and will support the grass roots design industry through a series of more general initiatives. It is backed by industry figures including Piers Roberts and Rory Dodd of Designersblock and Tom Dixon.

Among Creative London’s list of goals is the development of a £10m seed fund to support business growth and provide venture capital.

‘I can’t say that I will favour any one industry over another, but the money is for the creative industries in general,’ says Frye. ‘It can directly help designers and it can help to raise awareness of the products they design.’

Creative London will also preside over a marketing initiative to encourage private sector investment in creative industries. It plans to launch agencies to provide workspace and exhibition space and a creative incubation programme to recruit creative talent at higher education level.

Over the next ten years the body aims to help create 200 000 new jobs and increase the value of London’s creative industries from £21bn a year to £32bn.

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