Through an innovative new programme, some of the biggest companies in the City of London are collaborating with the creative sector with the aim of using culture to cement the City’s place as an economic powerhouse.
The Creative Exchange programme is run by Culture Mile, the City of London’s cultural district, which stretches from Farringdon to Moorgate.
Led by the City of London Corporation, with the Barbican Centre, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London, the five partners are together creating a vibrant, creative area in the north-west corner of the Square Mile.
The programme is supported by founding partner Bloomberg L.P and delivered in partnership with ArtULTRA, qLegal, Queen Mary University of London and British Land. A video case study of the project in its entirety can be found here.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said: “Culture is playing a vital role as we emerge from the pandemic and that’s why partnerships between the creative and commercial sectors are so crucial.
“London is coming together and now, more than ever, our communities need us to work together to help it. London remains the best city in the world in which to live, learn, work and invest.”
Jemma Read, Global Head of Corporate Philanthropy at Bloomberg L.P said: ""The City of London is home to some of the UK's leading businesses as well as a phenomenal array of creative talent. We're proud to support Culture Mile, which provides a unique platform for cross-sector collaboration and innovation. Through this initiative, artists will be able to draw upon a diverse set of knowledge and skills from across the City of London's community."
Pilot projects within the programme include The Legal Bridge, which facilitated an exchange of knowledge between artists, creatives and lawyers. Participating postgraduate law students from qLegal were challenged to develop a tool that artists and creatives could use, to help them navigate legal issues relevant to their creative practice and work.
Artist Noemi Gunea took part and commented: “The Legal Bridge taught me that law is as subjective and complex as art, and gave me the confidence that I am able to learn how to navigate through the jargon.”
Law student Pallavi Arya added: “The Legal Bridge allowed me to apply my knowledge in a new and refreshing way, focusing on the needs of artists. It was exciting to bridge the gap and, in doing so, bring two differing worlds closer together.”
In April, Innovation Studio took place at Storey, British Land’s flexible workspace at 100 Liverpool Street, Broadgate, bringing together senior leaders from the commercial and creative sectors to address big issues for their organisations in new ways, together.
Participant Nigel Cole, Head of Facilities at QIC Global Services Limited said: “As others found, Innovation Studio enabled me to consider and compare the challenges that our business faces in the current evolving workplace. While it confirmed some of our thoughts it also gave those attending the opportunity to consider common experiences and issues while exploring new ideas.”
Culture Mile is aiming to become a Business Improvement District (BID) in 2023. All eligible businesses in the area will be balloted on the proposed BID in early 2023 and should the vote be successful then the Culture Mile BID will join the four existing BIDs in the City and ‘go live’ in April next year. The new BID would enable more cross-sector collaboration projects, such as Creative Exchange.,
Businesses across the area are currently being consulted on the issues they would like the new BID to focus on, however, a BID for the Culture Mile will support the City’s ongoing recovery from the pandemic, create a world class destination for residents, workers and visitors to the City alongside building a sense of community for people living and working within the area.
Ruth Duston, Managing Director of Primera, said: “Across London BIDs are demonstrating they are a positive force for good, giving business communities a real say in the future shape of their area. The Culture Mile BID presents a huge opportunity, helping to attract visitors and workers alike, bolstering the offer of the City and cementing its reputation as a global economic powerhouse.”