Funding secured for a ‘creative campus’ at Chiswick House

Image above: The Kitchen Garden at Chiswick House & Gardens 

£180,000 grant to fund energy-efficient measures and collaborative artist workspace

Chiswick House Gardens is set to undergo a transformative change with the successful bid for a sustainability grant from the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zone Sustainability Capital Grant Fund.

The £180,000 grant will pave the way for the establishment of an energy-efficient creative campus, providing a collaborative workspace for up to 100 local artists and makers within the estate’s grounds.

The campus is to be built in what is currently a large car park beside the Kitchen Garden and the estate offices, which stands virtually empty most of the time.

The grant is part of the Mayor’s £1.2 million fund aimed at supporting creative projects throughout the city. In addition to assisting the creation of the creative campus, the funds will be used to implement key energy efficiency improvements to some of the estate’s historic heritage buildings, enabling them to be brought back to community use.

The green improvement works will focus on enhancing the buildings’ energy efficiency by installing new roof insulation, reducing heat losses and gains and therefore minimising energy demand. The grant will also finance essential facilities such as cycle storage and showers for users, promoting sustainable transport options and a greener approach.

Image above: Plans for the ‘creative campus’; Chiswick House & Gardens Trust

Funding is ‘a bold step to repurpose unused and underused historic buildings’

Xanthe Arvanitakis, Director of Chiswick House & Gardens Trust said:

“As well as caring for our Grade-I listed 18th century buildings and keeping our 65-acre gardens free to visit 365 days a year, we’re passionate about supporting our Hounslow community through skills development and by creating employment opportunities.

“Thanks to this Creative Enterprise Zone Sustainability Capital Grant Funding from the Mayor of London, we’re taking bold steps to repurpose unused and underused historic buildings and solving some of the environmental challenges to establish an ambitious new Creative Campus for up to 100 local artists, makers and artisans.”

Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, Leader of Hounslow Council, said:

“This grant is a fantastic opportunity for us to bring historic buildings at a local heritage site back into community use. The Creative Campus will help us to continue to expand our network of creative workspaces and provide more support to residents wanting to build up their skills in this exciting and expanding industry.

“Expanding access to sustainable and affordable workspaces is an integral part of our support for businesses to start, grow and thrive in the borough. Through these spaces the Council can continue to deliver and commission enterprise support that helps businesses overcome the ever-increasing challenges due to rising costs and inflation.

“We are committed to supporting residents by improving access to good quality local jobs, in particular our young people through our Youth Skills and Employment Guarantee (YSEG) and this is another mechanism for us to achieve this ambitious goal.”

The Creative Campus will also collaborate with other creative spaces within CREW, including the Digital Dock Brentford, the creative arts market at Boston Manor under the M4, the Jimmy Choo London Fashion Academy at Boston Manor House, and artists at Johnson’s Island. Additionally, future projects in the borough include the expansion of the Gillette Factory into nine studios, the Sky campus, and global media companies based at Chiswick Business Park.

Hounslow Council also receives money for its Creative Enterprise West initiative

The successful bid by Chiswick House was one of nine projects that secured funding, alongside Hounslow Council’s Creative Enterprise West (CREW) initiative. The latter aims to establish West London as a prominent screen capital, housing nearly half of London’s television broadcasting jobs.

Within the CREW project, the Cedar Yards programme will create spaces ‘dedicated to community, creativity, and learning’. These new spaces encompass the Creative Campus, Community Garden, Volunteer Welfare, and Learning Hub, ‘providing a comprehensive platform for local artists and artisans to flourish’.

The Mayor’s announcement of the grant award occurred at the London Made Me event, where the capital’s newest Creative Enterprise Zones were unveiled. As part of the event, small creative businesses from Hounslow were offered an opportunity to showcase their products at a central London venue during the lead-up to Christmas, facilitated by the London Made Me Pop-Up Shop and Retail Training programme.