Published on: 21 January 2016
An Enfield project is one of 24 businesses and community groups in the capital which will benefit from a new £20m fund it was announced today.
The London Regeneration Fund aims to re-energise the capital’s places of work and high streets by embracing the city’s incredible talent for creativity and technological innovation.
It was launched by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP at Building Bloqs on the which offers shared facilities for professional makers, designers and small creative businesses on the site of the proposed £2.5 billion Meridian Water development which will provide 8,000 homes and 3,000 in years to come.
Building BloQs is already London’s largest open workshop and the £1.35m that it will receive from the London Regeneration Fund will allow it to move to a larger site, offering members the opportunity to use state-of-the-art tools and workstations on a pay-as-you-go or membership basis.
The mayor met representatives from Enfield Council, Building Bloqs and other partners during his visit and saw for himself the activities which take place on site.
London’s 800,000 small and medium-sized businesses account for nearly half of the capital’s jobs and generate approximately £430bn turnover.
The LRF funding aims to help tackle the shortage of affordable creative workspaces and a number of the winning applications will create new spaces for artists and creative entrepreneurs.
Enfield Council’s Leader, Cllr Doug Taylor, said: “The Enfield Council and Building Bloqs backed project will provide 300 jobs in the area and create a hub of high quality commercial activity.
“Enfield Council is keen to provide opportunities for our communities and residents. The Meridian Water Built Environment Training Centre will play a key role in co-ordinating and delivering this by offering direct skills training opportunities linked to the construction of Meridian Water and a programme of community outreach and engagement to ensure local people are aware of the opportunities available to them. The range of activities on site will also include a digital technology hub.
“We expect this project to provide 300 jobs within the wider £2.5 billion Meridian Water development which will provide 8,000 homes, 3,000 jobs, a new train station and other community facilities over the next 20 years.“
The Mayor of London and Chair of the LEP Boris Johnson MP said: “High streets and town centres the length and breadth of London are a hive of economic activity fuelled by creative minds.
“It’s important that we make sure they continue to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving city and the talented people who are key to its future success. It’s fantastic to see so many applicants to this fund, offering innovative ways to nurture and support the dynamism and creativity that will power our economy in the years ahead.”
Al Parra, Co-Founder, Building BloQs, said "Building BloQs is creating a powerhouse of making for London.
“We seek to realise a vision, redefining both making and the approach to space, resource and community.
“We have proved the model, and now with this far sighted support from the GLA, we will provide greater resources for more freelance makers, small businesses and designers to find both a home and a springboard for innovation and growth for the future of our city."
The London Regeneration Fund is being launched by the Mayor through the London Enterprise Panel following a successful bid to Government in January 2015 as part of the LEP’s Growth Deal. Allocations are subject to grant agreement and confirmation of funding.
The Fund forms part of the LEP’s work to champion small and medium sized enterprises and builds on the Mayor’s longstanding belief that London’s high streets are great places to visit, live in and do business in.
Chaired by the Mayor, the London Enterprise Panel is the body through which the Mayoralty works with London's boroughs, business and Transport for London to take a strategic view of the regeneration, employment and skills agenda for London.
Meridian Water Workspace, LB Enfield
LRF: £1,350,000 match: £1,350,000
Two industrial sheds will be transformed into open workshops for makers and artist studios with shared facilities and services including outreach and training. It addresses space and affordability issues challenging emerging enterprises and arts communities.