Received from: AUE
Congress notes that:
i. 67 per cent of studio sites in London identified in 2014 as at risk of closure within five years had closed by November 2017.
ii. The risk of closure remains high with 24 per cent (57) of current sites providing artist workspace at risk of closure within the next five years.
iii. In London workspaces are becoming more expensive. In 2014, 56 per cent of sites charged an average of £11 per square foot. Three years later this had risen to 79 per cent of sites.
iv. The situation is similar in most major UK cities such as Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. Gentrification, and the pressure of spending cuts in local authorities, means many are closing arts and community spaces.
v. Artists are amongst the poorest workers in the UK with the majority earning less than £10,000 per annum (Arts Council England 2018).
Congress will press for:
a. urgent government action to address the challenges facing ordinary artists, in particular the provision of affordable studios for rent
b. investment to create jobs and support the development of all the creative arts, including the provision of affordable working spaces for artists in all localities
c. provision in schools, colleges, libraries and other community spaces for artists to work
d. resistance to gentrification and any negative effects on established cultural and local communities
e. an immediate cap on rent increases for artists’ studios
f. action, on equality grounds against the disproportionate impact, particularly on black and women artists, of the national shortage of affordable studio space.
Artists’ Union England