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Barking housing project backed by Grayson Perry holds open house for potential tenants

PUBLISHED: 19:00 10 October 2018

Council leader Darren Rodwell with local artist Sarina Mantle looking at a model of a house. Picture: Andrew Baker

Council leader Darren Rodwell with local artist Sarina Mantle looking at a model of a house. Picture: Andrew Baker

Andrew Baker

A new Barking housing development for artists held an open house event.

An example of what the inside of a home will look like. Picture: ApparataAn example of what the inside of a home will look like. Picture: Apparata

A House for Artists will provide affordable flats for creatives who’ve been priced out of more central areas of the capital.

There’ll be 12 flats to rent at 65 per cent of market rate, with applications open for UK-based artists to apply.

Last Thursday, council leader Darren Rodwell held a Q&A session and a tour of the proposed site.

He said: “It’s great to welcome so many artists, not only from the borough but from all over London and throughout the country. It’s yet more evidence we’re becoming a magnet for artists who find the old east end too expensive and who know it’s Barking and not Berlin, where the art’s at.”

A CGI of the development, which will include shared workspaces and a community hall. Picture: ApparataA CGI of the development, which will include shared workspaces and a community hall. Picture: Apparata

The development is being delivered in partnership with arts charity Create London, and will also include a shared workspace, courtyard and community hall.

Hadrian Garrard from Create London said: “For years, we’ve been hearing from artists about a lack of long-term, affordable and good quality homes, so we are excited to be moving into the stage where these artists can start do just that - put down long-term roots and embed themselves in the communities they will live and work in.

“We have been overwhelmed by the interest from artists wanting to apply for residency so far, showing just how needed and vital projects like A House for Artists are.”

As part of their contracts, tenants must commit half a day every week to providing a public arts and education programme for local young people. David Harley from Be First, which is commissioning the project, said: “The project will continue the growth of Barking’s arts scene and will help grow the local economy which will benefit local people.

“The capital cannot afford to lose its arts community, not only in cultural terms but socially and economically too. This new development will help London keeps its cutting-edge creative talent.”

Applications for a flat are open until October, with interviews taking place in November. Project ambassador Grayson Perry will be on the panel of interviewers. Artists will move in in 2020 with the public arts programme starting in the community hall at the same time.

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