Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has declared Ealing Road and Alperton (ERA) a Creative Enterprise Zone, aiming to boost the area’s creative industries and support emerging talent.
The designation recognises the cultural richness and creative potential of the region, which stretches from Ealing Road at the intersection with Wembley High Road, to the north side of the Grand Union Canal in Alperton.
Creative Enterprise Zones are part of the Mayor’s initiative to provide artists and creatives with affordable workspaces and support to establish and expand their ventures within their local communities. Sadiq Khan, accompanied by Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, made the official announcement during the London Made Me event on July 13, along with the declaration of two additional zones in Islington and Westminster.
The newly designated ERA zone will build upon the success of the flourishing South Asian fashion and jewellery scene on Ealing Road, coupled with the ongoing redevelopment in Alperton, which is one of Brent’s significant growth areas.
The ambitious program for the ERA zone includes the creation of 2,000 square meters of affordable and permanent workspaces for local talent, the establishment of a creative network comprising more than 300 individuals, investment in sustainable local projects, the development of a circular economy, the generation of 30 new jobs in the creative industry, and the provision of training, apprenticeship, and work experience opportunities.
Councillor Shama Tatler, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Growth, stated, “We are delighted that Ealing Road and Alperton have been awarded creative enterprise zone status. Our borough is bursting at the seams with creative talent, and this will create the perfect environment for artists and creatives to come together, set up shop, expand, and flourish.”
She continued, “Ealing Road, at the heart of the new zone, is already home to more than 200 independent businesses. The vibrant high street is a cultural hotspot adorned with incredible murals, light displays, and colourful art installations celebrating the local South Asian community. In Alperton, we have a number of industrial sites along with a major growth area, set to be transformed in the coming years with new homes, offices, studios, and much more.”
Tatler stated, “The new zone – ERA, will help connect the two areas and open up new, and importantly local, manufacturing opportunities for our creatives. It will also support us to create more affordable workspaces for local talent to stay and expand, as well as generating more creative employment opportunities for all of our residents. We’re excited to put Ealing Road and Alperton on the map as an incubator for creativity and innovation for generations to come.”
Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, commented, “Creative Enterprise Zones have been a game changer for culture in London, enabling artists and creatives to put down roots and grow with access to affordable creative workspaces.”
She added, “I am delighted to have announced Ealing Road and Alperton as one of our newest zones and to be partnering with local authorities and creatives to ensure that artists have affordable places to work across the capital. Working with Brent, we will build upon specialised skills in jewellery-making and fashion design, creating more than 2000 sqm of new affordable workspace and 30 new jobs.”
Simons concluded, “It is vital that we continue to invest in our creative future and provide opportunities for young and emerging talent to thrive as we build a better and fairer London for everyone.”
Local creative Warren Reily, Social Designer, Applied Artist, and Associate Creative Director of The Mixed Museum, shared his perspective, saying, “As a local artist and designer, I celebrate the recognition of this Creative Enterprise Zone. Through this transformative programme, I aspire to amplify my profile and business prospects while continuing my work of innovation for the community. I hope to cultivate a thriving creative business ecosystem that breathes life into the tapestry of our diverse community.”
London now boasts a total of 12 Creative Enterprise Zones spread across various boroughs, including Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Hackney and Tower Hamlets (a cross-borough zone), Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Waltham Forest, and Westminster.