Developing Culture Mile as a global hub of creativity, innovation and learning that delivers economic growth and social mobility for London.

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Culture Mile brought together leaders from across the cultural, commercial and civic sectors for an event hosted by the Lord Mayor at Mansion House on 10 March 2020 as part of his Global UK programme. The event explored the critical role that creativity plays in key issues facing businesses across the City of London.

Culture Mile Taskforce

At the event, we shared our plan to establish the Culture Mile Taskforce – a group of senior leaders from across the City exploring how we can work across the cultural, commercial and civic sectors to harness the power of creativity to develop a welcoming, creative and thriving Culture Mile community. As a result of COVID-19, the terms of reference for this group are in the process of being revised and will be shared shortly. However, if you have not yet signalled an interest in being part of this Taskforce, do email

“Creativity is not a ‘nice to do’ here in the City, but a core and growing part of the economy.”

Catherine McGuiness
Policy Chair, City of London Corporation


You can watch full length speeches from the day here.

Creativity in commerce

Creativity is an economic superpower. It’s more important than ever now as it can play a critical role in key issues facing businesses across the City of London. As our first keynote speaker Dan Makoski (Chief Design Officer, Lloyds Banking Group) succinctly put it: ‘all innovation will come through creativity’.

During his keynote speech, Dan set a creative task for delegates: get into pairs and draw each other. The results of this collective creativity are rather impressive:

Creative, resilient communities

Being part of a vibrant creative community (both physical and virtual) attracts businesses and top talent, leading to happier healthier staff and more productive and innovative businesses. Maria Adebowale-Schwarte (CEO, Foundation for Future London) talks about the social impact of creativity in this short clip:

The Creative City

The City of London is well-placed to capitalise on its extensive creative strengths but it needs to support its unique ecology, change perceptions of the area and create the conditions for creativity to flourish. Callum Lee (Managing Director, BOP Consulting) talks on the potential of the creative industries to add £4bn to the output of the City:

The role of Culture Mile

Culture Mile has the potential to become a global hub for creativity, innovation and learning, bringing together culture and commerce to develop the platforms, infrastructure, collaboration, skills and support to enable creativity to flourish and deliver economic growth and social mobility for London. Sian Bird (Head of Partnerships & Strategic Projects, Culture Mile) talks about Culture Mile’s vision:

Play your part

William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London, calls upon the cultural and commercial sectors to work together to enable organisations from all sector to flourish. Play your part by joining the Taskforce, sharing with us resources/examples of how you’re bringing together creativity & commerce and keep in touch by subscribing for updates here on the Culture Mile website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Many Culture Mile partners are harnessing creativity to get through this challenging time.

Stimulating Staff Creativity: Linklaters

At the event the Lord Mayor highlighted research findings looking at creativity in businesses growth. The conclusion was that including art in offices can improve productivity by 17%, and art interventions and creative art therapies have been shown to reduce stress in employees by 81%. 

Catherine Shearn is the Curator of Linklaters art collection, housed mainly in their Silk Street headquarters. The art collection aims not only to fill the walls and provide a culturally interesting environment, but also to stimulate the creativity of the staff and visitors.

In the current work from home climate, this is obviously no longer effective, so staff were asked to submit images of their own creative efforts. An impressive amount of drawing, photos, paintings, and even embroidery and crocheted work were sent in, revealing an enormous amount of creativity within the Linklaters workforce.

Associate Lawyer Xuewei Loy has been inspired by an image of her friend, an NHS worker, in her protective clothing. This watercolour image is based on a photograph, the sensitive portrait captures the human side of the frontline workers.

Wellbeing & Innovation: Music in Offices

In this difficult time of isolation, music making remains an important activity to punctuate our time with a positive moment and build togetherness. Music in Offices are delighted that all of their workplace choirs have happily repositioned to online rehearsals and value the positive impact these weekly sessions are having for employees. 

 Online concerts for pupils have been popular too and surprisingly maintained the intimacy and informality that the live concerts were known for.

“The concert gave a lot of joy to my family - thank you. It is really a great solace to me when at home on my own that I have the piano to play and my lessons to give me structure.” Victoria Brammall, Travers Smith.

Director Tessa Marchington has also been offering weekly Creative Thinking Clinics, helping clients work through new ideas and concepts, for example with Janie Skuse from marketing company to explore how important creativity is during moments of change, and about how she could pivot her role within her company.

Bringing Company Values to Life: DLA Piper

Following on from the hugely successful inaugural Culture Week, DLA Piper launched the London office Photography Competition which is open for a six week period. 

 Participants (they were inundated) are asked to submit new photos each week, based around categories which reflect the values of the firm. A weekly winner is announced and receives a prize delivered to their doorstep.