Islington Labour councillors have welcomed new plans to create more genuinely affordable workspaces in the borough, where local people can work for free or at a significantly reduced rent. These workspaces are part of Islington Labour’s vision for an inclusive economy that benefits all local people.
Islington Labour councillors have been working with the local community to secure more genuinely affordable workspaces, which support new local business start-ups and employment opportunities for local residents.
The Council’s bid to create more affordable workspaces has been supported by the Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who has awarded Islington £1.3 million from the Good Growth Fund.
The new affordable workspaces will be delivered in Finsbury Park, which is home to the emerging Tech Cluster on Fonthill Road and the long-established Fashion and Garment Cluster on Fonthill Road, Wells Terrace and Seven Sisters Road.
Speaking at an Affordable Workspace Seminar, Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “Islington Labour’s vision for the borough is for an inclusive economy that works for everybody and which is harnessed to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality of opportunity. Our vision for our economy is that it is underpinned by the values of social justice. I am pleased the Labour Mayor of London has recognised the role that affordable workspaces have to play in an inclusive economy approach to economic development in Islington.
“Islington is home to many budding entrepreneurs, who we want to support through affordable workspaces to build up their businesses and succeed. As a Finsbury Park ward councillor, I am particularly excited to see the emergence of new employment, training and business opportunities in the Tech Cluster and Fashion and Garment Cluster.
“We will be working with the local community and our affordable workspace providers to ensure these affordable workspaces deliver for the local community. That is why providers will be required to deliver social value outcomes such as employment, skills and apprenticeship training for local people.”
The £1.3 million from the Good Growth Fund, which awards funding to projects that put local communities at the heart of London’s growth, will enable Islington Council to transform ‘unloved’ spaces into affordable workspace, as well as space for community organisations.
Islington’s successful Good Growth funding will see a total of four sites developed for affordable workspace in Finsbury Park. This will entail the Council purchasing the commercial leases of two buildings in the emerging tech and fashion retail cluster, converting 12 disused garages on the Andover estate, and renovating a council-owned property on Seven Sisters Road. The workspaces are expected to create new apprenticeship, training and job opportunities for local people.
Islington Council is also securing affordable workspaces in other parts of the borough as part of its S106 negotiations with developers. This year the Council is expecting 4 of these premises to become available, three near the Old Street roundabout and one in Farringdon. The Council will be securing maximum social value returns for its residents from these new affordable workspaces.
Pictured: Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development, meeting affordable workspace providers at Islington Council’s Affordable Workplace Seminar