The Great West Creatives Enterprise Zone is being delivered by a consortium made up of: University of West London, West Thames College, London Borough of Hounslow, SME representatives, Sky, Watermans, Hounslow and Brentford Chambers of Commerce, and West London Business.
Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZ) are a Mayor of London initiative, to support artists, makers and creative businesses in a targeted area. Hounslow won funding through the scheme for a CEZ running from Chiswick Business Park to Sky in Osterley, including Brentford town centre to the south and going north to include Boston Manor and Gunnersbury parks.
The zone is home to:
- 3% of London’s creative employment
- 46% of London’s television and broadcasting activities
- 68% of Hounslow’s creative employment
West London Business’ work within the consortium’s programme spans:
- Supply chain development – The CEZ’s mass of multinational corporates in media, broadcasting and tech creates exciting opportunities to build capacities and make connections with smaller businesses. Engagement has started with local businesses, including the blue-chips, medium, small and micro enterprises and business incubators/accelerators.
- Inward investment – While supporting existing businesses located in Hounslow’s CEZ is of prime importance, attracting new businesses and aspiring creatives to Hounslow is also key to the success of the project. In development is a brand identity for the project, place and local creative community with a launch expected in summer 2020.
- New and affordable workspaces for creatives – Unlocking affordable workspace for creative businesses is a priority. Work is ongoing with developers who are planning projects within the CEZ and a study has been commissioned into the types of workspace that are required (micro business co-working, rehearsal/production, creatives, etc) and their affordability.
- Skills and training – Through the project, specialist advice, guidance, training will be available to individuals and start-ups in the creative industries towards the end of 2020. This support programme will be shaped through working with the University of West London and West Thames College, coordinating with their respective qualifications in the creative industries. In addition, the University is set to launch its MA in Creative Media Entrepreneurship in 2020 and, through the CEZ project, set up a virtual reality test-bed for use by aspiring creatives in related sectors.
- Community engagement – The Creatives Network brings together artists, makers, writers and designers, in media or digital from across borough to make connections, share opportunities, and develop a voice for the sector. The Network organises regular events with talks and demos, business development workshops, and collaborative projects.