New affordable workspaces support local creative talent

Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2023

  • Wandsworth Council is supporting grassroots talent and local start-ups
  • Affordable Workspace Fund helps fairer route into creative industries
  • free or discounted access to technical facilities at new purpose-built workspaces.

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Getting creative: Councillor Kemi Akinola visits Nine Elms Studio

Local creative businesses or start-ups and entrepreneurs can now choose from two new affordable studio workspaces opening their doors in the Nine Elms area, thanks to council support.

Investment from Wandsworth Council's Affordable Workspace Fund is helping to provide a range of new workplaces across the borough which offer the use of industry-standard technical facilities such as recording studios and incubator units, as well as co-working areas.

'Fairer route into creative industries'

Kemi Akinola, the council's cabinet member for the voluntary sector, business engagement and culture, said: "Wandsworth has a strong reputation for creative learning and jobs so it's really important that we nurture grassroots talent and entrepreneurs who are living and working here.

"I'm delighted that the council's Affordable Workspace Fund is helping to develop specialist workspaces and provide a fairer route into working in the creative industries. As part of the borough’s recovery from the impact of Covid, we’re supporting flexible working to help small businesses, start-ups and self-employed people succeed."

Councillor Akinola visited Nine Elms Studio where local video production company Chocolate Films are offering co-working space and hire of a new studio for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers.

The new Nine Elms Studio provides high-spec flexible video production studio facilities, low-cost desk space and access to business support and networking through a membership scheme. As the only affordable studio space specifically geared towards SMEs and freelancers, the project is estimated to support over 180 small and medium enterprises each year.

Rachel Wang, Creative Director and founder of Chocolate Films said: “I am thrilled to have moved Chocolate Films into our brand new space; Nine Elms Studio. We are offering a unique production studio bursting with ideas and creativity.

“With the support of Wandsworth Council and Big Issue Invest, our workspace enables creative entrepreneurs to grow their new businesses and for Chocolate Films workshops programme to deliver regular filmmaking opportunities.”

Wandsworth Council secured the space for Chocolate Films' new premises at their new premises at 66 Ponton Road, SW11 7BA through planning commitments with developer Bellway and a 99-year lease was granted at a highly subsidised rate.

Find out more about workshops and using the affordable workspace at

Access to industry-standard equipment

Wandsworth-based musicians and music industry entrepreneurs are invited to take advantage of World Heart Beat's new recording studio and training events in their new venue nearby at 3 Ponton Road, off Nine Elms Lane.

The industry-standard music facilities are currently available for free and/or discounted use until March this year and enquiries are encouraged from people who are under-represented in the music industry.

On track: Affordable recording workspace at World Heart Beat

Kim Morrison, Head of Programmes at World Heart Beat said: "We are thrilled to be able to offer the opportunity for Wandsworth-based musicians and creative industries entrepreneurs to use our spaces and expertise to further their work.

“We have always been proud to be part of the vibrant cultural infrastructure in the borough, supporting and developing skills and creating work opportunities. Our new venue will allow us to deepen our impact, ensuring local creative individuals and businesses have access to industry-standard equipment and quality resources."

Find out how to use World Heart Beat's recording studio or training courses (including the next training day on 22 February) by visiting the World Heart Beat website

Coming soon

In 2024, a suite of business incubator units will open in New Mansion Square, the new Peabody development on Sleaford Street, Battersea. Also secured by Wandsworth Council through planning permissions, 12 incubator units will be offered at affordable rents to a wide range of businesses within the local community and used more dynamically than traditional office space.

At 7,781 sq ft the incubator project will provide the largest workspace delivered through Wandsworth Council's Affordable Workspace Fund and include free co-working and meeting space to further support start-ups and entrepreneurs. Local businesses will have first refusal on 10-20 per cent of the incubator units.

Other affordable workspaces being developed in the borough include:

Developing culture: Affordable workspaces opening up in Nine Elms