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Safeguarding creative spaces at London City Island's new artistic centre
London City Island by EcoWorld Ballymore.

LONDON.- arebyte, a contemporary space dedicated to New Media and Performance Art, will relocate its gallery and create affordable artists’ workspaces at London City Island – the new island neighbourhood which is set to become a hub for creative living and cultural excellence.

Launching in September, arebyte’s new artistic spaces will secure a future for its creative residents whilst maintaining its grassroots approach. This relocation is the result of a collaboration between Ballymore, the developers of London City Island; the pioneering Studiomakers initiative, in association with the Mayor of London; and arebyte gallery.

The Mayor of London’s Artists’ Workspace Study (2014)* predicted that up to 3,500 of the capital’s artist workspaces would be lost in by 2019 due to rising studio costs. In responding to these growing concerns over availability and affordability, arebyte, Studiomakers and Ballymore have contrived a mutually beneficial and sustainable model to support London creatives. The site will feature 5,000sqft studios for artists, designers and creative industries; 1,000sqft co-working spaces, and a 2,200sqft gallery.

Artist Charles Avery comments: “Artists continue to abandon London — a city whose fortune and unique atmosphere they helped create —in favour of capitals such as Berlin and Lisbon, because they no longer have a stake, or even a foothold.

Studiomakers are taking a conservationist approach to this decline. They have the knowledge, connections, experience and belief to make a significant impact and their intervention comes at a critical time.”

arebyte will sit alongside the other major cultural institutions – English National Ballet and English National Ballet School; The London Film School and The Line, East London’s contemporary art walk – that will relocate to the Island. arebyte’s work, along with these partnerships and engagement between local residents and the artists, will help transform the site into a local and international cultural destination.

The partners will ensure an integrated and genuinely artist-led cultural programme will be brought to the Island, one that responds to and engages with neighbours and surrounding communities and organisations, such as the established creative arts venue at adjoining Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Sean Mulryan, Chairman and Chief Executive of Ballymore Group, commented: “It is my vision to make London City Island a home for art and creativity in the capital. This collaboration is particularly exciting as it will provide artistic talent with long-term and affordable opportunities for generations to come. The new creatives, brought to the island through this partnership, will integrate with our culturally rich mix of tenants and residents.”

arebyte’s 2017 artistic programme Control will continue in Hackney Wick until its complete relocation in December 2017.

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