From the outset of the Great West Creatives project, we sought to personally engage with creative and wider communities in order to:
- Observe the ecology of the sector, its links, networks and connections;
- Identify the real weaknesses, barriers and gaps that the sector faces
- Understand how we can intervene to address these issues and to spread the benefits of a thriving creative enterprise sector widely through the Borough and beyond
Our study revealed that working and production space is most clearly and commonly noted as limiting further growth and greater success of the sector. The challenge for micro and creative enterprises to find affordable workspace in Hounslow replicates the London-wide picture. But it is also apparent that the shortage of, and demand for, studios and micro-business accommodation is equally echoed in unmet demand for production space for larger, performance-based, creative production.
Discussion with producers, with the Council team that manage outdoor art in Hounslow and with larger businesses with live production requirements, including Sky, identified a severe bottleneck to production activity in the borough in the lack of larger indoor production space capable of hosting various forms of live production but with a focus on outdoor art.
Boston Manor Park - specifically the area beneath the M4 flyover - emerged as a strategically important site for the development of the 'Hounslow Underline Project'.