Revived Battersea Arts Centre to include £1m incubator for creative industries

Published: 26 January 2016

Support for start-up and early-stage creative businesses will be built in to the restored Battersea Art Centre (BAC) after a £538,000 grant was secured from the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund.

Designed by Stirling Prize winning architects, Haworth Tompkins, the new hub, which opens in 2018, will be dedicated to nurturing the borough’s many creative business start-ups. 

New Government figures reveal the creative industries grew by 8.9 per cent during 2014, making it the second fastest growing sector in the UK economy behind construction. 

The GLA grant will be match funded by BAC which is currently preparing to rebuild the Grand Hall of its Lavender Hill building after a major fire last year.

The new creative industries hub will provide flexible work space and host a range of professional advice services, including business support programmes run in partnership with Wandsworth Council.

It will be based across spaces on the lower ground floor towards the back of the arts centre and will include an open studio for flexible working, a private office suite and a workshop.

Each small enterprise or freelancer using the facility will be required to offer two hours of their time and skills per month to support the growth and development of other hub members. They will also be asked to contribute to other local initiatives designed to boost the borough’s thriving creative sector.

The BAC announcement comes shortly after the Royal College of Art revealed plans to build another new facility for creative sector postgraduate students and entrepreneurs in north Battersea. 

Other big names in the area’s growing creative cluster include Pump House Gallery, Vivienne Westwood Studio, Foster and Partners, the Royal Academy of Dance, Theatre 503 and Will Alsop All Design.

BAC Artistic Director and CEO David Jubb said:

“The London Regeneration Fund will enable Battersea Arts Centre to build on existing programmes such as The Agency and Agents of Creativity to develop an exciting new hub for the creative industries in Wandsworth. Cultural spaces such as Battersea Arts Centre, which are shared by artists, entrepreneurs and freelancers, are the ideal environment for innovation to thrive. We will curate the hub so that it has a direct benefit to local young people living around Clapham Junction to kick-start their own ideas with BAC's support.”

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

“BAC has introduced some superb youth support schemes which are raising the aspirations of local young people and helping them realise their ambitions in the creative sectors.  This new facility will enhance this impressive area of work and will help develop more of Wandsworth’s raw talent into successful business ventures.”

The regeneration of Nine Elms, north Battersea is also fuelling the local arts and design scene with new developments providing a range of cultural attractions and studio space as part of an area-wide cultural strategy. This includes low-cost incubator units for creative start-ups which will be part of Phase 4a of Battersea Power Station’s masterplan.

Find out more about BAC at or follow @battersea_arts.