The Mayor of London has pledged £30,000 towards the launch of the Union of Kingston Students’ Creative Meanwhile Space in Kingston.
In partnership with Kingston School of Art’s Creative Agency Studio KT1, the union is now on course to open a community-led creative hub on Fife Road following their successful crowdfunding campaign.
“Culture is London’s DNA and new creative ideas will be vital in supporting our capital’s recovery from the pandemic,” said Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE.
“We’re committed to supporting innovators and community organisers to help rebuild our city, and through Make London I’m proud that we are funding important projects, like the Creative Meanwhile Space for Kingston, to boost their local area.”
With a crowdfunding target of £70,000, Union of Kingston Students were successful in bidding to the Mayor of London’s #MakeLondon fund which can pledge up to £50,000 to help reinvigorate the city after the effects of Covid-19.
A £27,000 pledge also came from Royal Borough of Kingston Council.
With Creative Meanwhile Space project, the Student Union aims to provide opportunities for those who may not have access to materials, support, or technology, such as people not in education, training or employment.
The initiative will transform vacant spaces into creative hubs, starting at 19 Fife Road in April whilst it awaits development into a co-living scheme.
“This concept would show Kingston as a forward-thinking borough, giving young people a chance to be part of the conversation, shaping how vacant spaces are used in this new normal we find ourselves in,” said Claire Selby, a representative of Studio KT1.
The student union hopes that such space will inspire people and provide free materials, bookable workspace, workshops, talks and exhibitions.
“Our space can be a model for other community groups. All the money made goes back to those involved and our students so that we can help provide the best experience possible at Kingston,” said Muna Ali, Vice President at Union of Kingston Students.
Residents of Kingston and local businesses can now share their ideas and register their interest to sell products, host workshops and events or run consultancy services in the space. Kingston University students can also register their interest here.