City of London Corporation says firms should employ artists to help make London ‘alive’ again


Business and public bodies in London should employ artists and creatives to make the city “alive” again when workers and visitors can return, the City of London Corporation has recommended.

“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact upon the capital’s cultural and creative sectors, and we make no apology for describing the situation as a ‘cultural catastrophe’,” said the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell.

Cities have been hard hit by the pandemic and London has been no exception: according to Citymapper’s mobility index, only 24% of the capital is moving compared to pre-pandemic levels. The plunge in footfall has seen businesses suffer, with some announcing closures.

In a bid to support the cultural sector and integrate it into London’s post-pandemic recovery plans, the Square Mile’s governing body has set out recommendations which include the creation of an international exchange programme connecting creative and commercial sectors around the world.

The 9 February report, “Culture and Commerce: Fuelling Creative Renewal”, also suggests the development of “creative enterprise hubs” in London, which would see unused office and retail space made available for creative businesses.

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The report, by the City of London Corporation’s culture and commerce taskforce, comes at a time in which the capital’s cultural sector remains at a standstill during the third nationwide lockdown.

Set up in October 2020, the taskforce seeks to “find new ways in which London’s culture and business sectors can work together to maintain the city’s competitive advantage as a global creative and commercial hub”. Taskforce members include City names such as Dan Makoski, chief design officer at Lloyds Banking Group, and Gideon Moore, Linklaters’ worldwide managing partner.

“I call upon culture, civic, and commercial organisations across London to consider what the Taskforce is proposing, with a view to implementing as many recommendations as they are able to, in order to help accelerate the recovery,” Russell added. The City of London Corporation invests over £130m every year in heritage and cultural activities, it said in its statement.

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim


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