Plans, backed by Turner prize winner Grayson Perry, to build innovative and affordable homes for artists in Barking have been given the green light.
The proposal for the £3.5 million ‘artists’ house’ has been developed by Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s pioneering regeneration company, together with partners Create London.
It will see 12 below market rate apartments constructed in Linton Road, Barking, to provide homes for artists with workshops and a community arts space.
Barking and Dagenham Council leader, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said: “This is a major step in our drive to make Barking and not Berlin, the place in Europe for artists to set up home.”
Pat Hayes, Managing Director for Be First, said: “Barking is fast becoming London’s hotspot for the creative industries which are being priced out of the capital, thanks to sky high rents in Hackney, Haggerston or Hoxton.
“This truly inspiring and affordable new development will allow artists to flourish here, to engage with local people and to strengthen to the fast-growing creative industries in this borough.”
Grayson Perry, who will help to develop a programme of activity for the artists, said: “This is a golden opportunity for artists who want to work with the public. With the right artists working in a real place with real people, who knows where it will go? It’s a new artistic model.”
Hadrian Garrard, Director of Create London, said: “Artists in London are under more pressure than ever in terms of finding somewhere affordable to live. This new development will provide something new for London.
“It will function as a community centre that will be run by the 12 resident artists in exchange for affordable, good quality housing.
“This summer we will be putting out a UK-wide call for resident artists which is an important next step for the project.”