Piling work for the new House for Artists started in the heart of Barking this week.
The development on Linton Road, which has been backed by world renowned artist, Grayson Perry, will be home to 12 artists and features ground floor studio space for the artists to work with the local community.
It forms part of Barking and Dagenham Council’s plans to support home-grown talent and to attract artists and craftspeople to the borough, and has been supported by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who has invested £690,000 towards the design and construction as part of his work to support the capital’s creative industries.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, invited Deputy Mayor for London, Justine Simons, and Hadrian Garrard, Chief Executive of Create London, to see how things were taking shape since the start of work in June.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “The House for Artists is a truly exciting project, providing a home for artists who are prepared to involve local people in their creative work.
“It’s a major boost to this area which already boasts a vibrant and growing artistic community, and new resources like the Ice House Quarter, 360 Barking and, of course, the Dagenham Film Studios.
“Barking and Dagenham is really taking off as one of London’s creative hotspots.”
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor of Culture and the Creative Industries said: “London is overflowing with talent and imagination, making the capital a place people want to live, work and visit. During these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we support our artists and so I’m delighted that building work is now starting on the House for Artists. It will provide creatives with much-needed affordable and secure workspaces and add to the growing cultural hub in east London.”
Hadrian Garrard, Director of Create explains: “As an organisation that brings local artists and communities together, this project sits at the heart of what we do. We are very excited to see it reach this important milestone.”
Local artist Sarina Mantle, who will be moving into the House for Artists, said: “I am really looking forward to this overall experience, alongside developing creative projects with fellow artists for our local community. It’s great that Barking is becoming more of a place that Artists can not only flourish but engage and encourage others to enjoy the arts too.”
The House for Artists will be rented at below market rates to 12 artists and their families, in return for working with local artists and the local community to develop the creative industries and creative works locally. The artists were selected by a panel including Grayson Perry, who will be creating a bespoke commission for the development.
The House for Artists is being built on behalf of the Council by Be First, and contractors Murphy Group.
Tom Mather, Construction Director at Be First, said: “The House for Artists illustrates our determination not simply to build thousands of affordable homes for local people but also culturally rich communities too.”
Nick Fletcher UK Managing Director of Murphy Group, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Be First and excited to be involved in supporting the local community through the House for Artists project.”
The development is due to be completed by September 2021.
Note to editors
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation & Rayne Foundation are supporting the public programme, which will launch in Autumn 2021.