Thames Estuary 3d printing centre Sadiq Khan
The Uk's biggest 3D printing centre will be developed as part of a scheme to turn the Thames Estuary region of the English capital into a focal point for the creative and cultural industries
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has published plans to develop the UK’s biggest 3D printing centre in Silvertown.
The new facility will be developed as part of a scheme to turn the Thames Estuary region of the English capital into a focal point for the creative and cultural industries. Khan’s proposal document outlines the potential for a state-of-the-art facility and foundry for manufacturing large-scale artworks and sculptures. This would include the development of a 3D printing centre.
Across London and the South-East of England, there is thought to be around 1.3 million currently working in the creative economy. Over the next ten years, that number is expected to nearly double. Khan believes rising land values, rents and the lack of large –scale production spaces threaten the sector’s growth. His proposal of seven large-scale hubs, submitted to Lord Heseltine, head of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, would theoretically change that.
In addition to the large-scale manufacturing space, these hubs would include London’s largest film studio complex in Dagenham; a national theatre-making studios in Bexley; a home for digital creativity and gaming at the University of Essex, Colchester; and Quartermaster Studios in Purfleet, the UK’s leading proposed independent media production facility.
“London leads the way across the whole of the creative economy – from fashion to film, design to gaming performing arts to the visual arts,” Khan said. “It’s only right that we build on this success and transform the Thames Estuary into a world-class centre for creative production – leading global innovation, developing the talent of the future and cultivating world-changing ideas.”
Launched last month, this industrial strategy was produced in conjunction with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). It aims to build on the country’s strengths, while tackling its weaknesses to ensure maximum competitiveness across the world as a creative influence. It also seeks to drive growth across the country, opening up opportunities for more high-skilled, high-paid jobs.
“The creative industries are one of the South East’s biggest success stories,” said Christian Brodie, chairman of SELEP. “As the UK competes on the world stage, we must harness the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the creative sector – enabling its growth and extending its global reach. The SELEP is looking to build upon the connectivity with London, building a unique, self-sustaining infrastructure to support creative businesses in a way that has not been seen before.”
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