30th April 2020

Creative Land Trust's new Chief Executive is announced

Gordon Seabright joins the Creative Land Trust as Chief Executive following five- and-a-half years leading the world-famous Eden Project.

At Eden, Gordon built the organisation’s first arts strategy, including the creation of gallery spaces for temporary exhibitions, the acquisition of permanent sculptural exhibits, and a programme of festivals and other events.

Before joining Eden, he had periods at the helm of the national cycling charity and the Royal Horticultural Society. He has also held senior positions at English Heritage, WHSmith and Waterstones.

Gordon serves as a trustee of the charity Five Talents, which supports financial inclusion and building resilient communities in sub-Saharan Africa, and is director of both the community orchard in his home town and of Cornwall’s Local Enterprise Partnership.

Creative Land Trust is an innovative solution to address the loss of London’s creative workspace. The aim of the new charitable organisation, seed funded by the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Bloomberg Philanthropies, is to secure affordable workspace for artists in perpetuity. Its immediate area of focus is London as there is a significant crisis, where in just 3 years 17% of studio spaces have been lost.

With Gordon as Chief Executive they aim to secure 1,000 affordable workspaces, offering space to help artists keep their practices running and helping maintain London’s status as an international cultural capital. Given the uncertainties facing many in the sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Creative Land Trust is determined to deliver on this vital need and continue to support creatives. Currently Creative Land Trust is looking to acquire its first property, which will be run by an existing affordable creative workspace provider

“The Mayor and I helped to develop the Creative Land Trust to protect vital affordable workspaces in the capital, and just a year later its role is more important than ever as artists struggle with the impact of the coronavirus. At this challenging time, Gordon’s experience will be a real boost to the work of the Trust. I look forward to working alongside him to provide valuable support to our creative sector now and in the future.” Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries

“We are delighted to have appointed someone of Gordon’s calibre to the Trust. His expertise in leadership and stakeholder management alongside his proven strength in delivery and business growth are all key for leading the Trust in the next exciting phase of its journey. We are looking forward immensely to working with him to secure the Trust’s first property, continue the Trust’s fundraising and together address the crisis in the sector.” Alexandra Notay and Catherine Webster, Co-Chairs of the Board

“I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead the Creative Land Trust. Art has the power to transform, and not just the lives of individuals, but the economic and cultural vibrancy of our city and the communities who live here. We have a clear mission to provide lasting access to studio space for London’s artists, a fantastic group of Trustees and great support from our launch funders. I’m raring to get started, and deeply grateful to the talented team who have been building the Creative Land Trust from scratch.” Gordon Seabright

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About Creative Land Trust

● Creative Land Trust is a new charitable organisation that will secure permanent workspaces for artists in London by purchasing buildings to provide affordable space to be run by studio providers.

● Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Outset Contemporary Art Fund partnered to create and launch Creative Land Trust, with initial funding from Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Trust will provide a new source of capital to support studio providers and creatives. This funding will support fast access to capital to purchase buildings that is not currently available from other sources.

● Creative Land Trust will ensure that the rental of the buildings in its ownership are set at affordable rates in perpetuity, working with London’s studio providers to commit to affordability. The artists and creative projects that will benefit from the Trust will be defined in line with Arts Council England’s creative workspace terms and the Mayor of London’s Cultural Infrastructure Plan.

● Creative Land Trust is now open to receive charitable donations of land, buildings and cash. These donations and existing grant funds will be further leveraged by creating a long-term investment platform to catalyse the growth of the portfolio.

● Creative Land Trust will look to make acquisitions by accepting property asset transfers, and assets by outright purchase, including such as a building, a long lease, a section 106 agreement or a Community Infrastructure Levy. Buildings will be considered across London, up to 60,000 square feet of space, with preference for (but not limited to) B1(b), B1(c) and D1 use class. Example buildings that will be considered include (but are not limited to) existing artist studios, large scale retail units, ground floor commercial units, buildings at risk of closure or redevelopment and light industrial units.