Mayor of London to investigate rising costs of artist studio space

artist-studio“There’s a lot of concern that London is changing and artists are being forced to move to new areas… artists are pioneers of regeneration because they go where others don’t. But they’re also the victims as they then get priced out.” – Munira Mirza, deputy mayor for education and culture in London

In an article in The Independent, City Hall flagged up the importance of the issue of the shortage of affordable studio space in the capital in a report published in 2010, but further investigation was shelved as preparations for the Olympics intensified.

The issue is now back on the agenda in an investigation by the Mayor of London, amid growing evidence that artists are being driven out by rising rents and redevelopment.

The development comes after it emerged that a former biscuit factory in Bermondsey, which hosts close to 400 artists, had been sold and will be converted into 800 flats.

This seems to be a consistent pattern, where run-down areas are affordable for artists, but as the area becomes “arty” and “trendy”, the prices go up with the following “gentrification” and artists are priced out and forced to move.

Read the article in The Independent