HWCRAIC: Hackney Wick, Fish Island and the Olympic Park

Covid-19 and Creative Clusters: A real-time study of the impact of Covid-19 on creative businesses

September 2020

This project will investigate the impact of, and recovery from, the Covid-19 virus on the Creative business community in and around Hackney Wick and the Olympic Park in East London. It will combine quantitative and qualitative research, and will be used to inform London and UK-wide policy on creative clusters.

The Hackney Wick/Olympic Park cluster brings together small and micro-creative businesses with large and significant creative employers (such as BT Sport and Sadler’s Wells Theatre) in a very small physical footprint. It is also home to Loughborough University London, and parts of UCL. 

Working with businesses and community partners over a 12 month period from September 2020, the project will assess changing practices and business models, and attitudes to future prospects and growth, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. It will be led by a steering group of local partners, and will bring together a network of national and regional advisers specialising in creative cluster development.

The research will:

  • Monitor how creative people and businesses in the cluster have been affected by the Covid-19 virus and their plans for recovery and future growth
  • Monitor the impact of Government and other interventions to support small businesses
  • Provide insights into the impact of Covid-19 on entrepreneurial attitudes among the creative business community
  • Provide insights into the impact of Covid-19 on the broader community
  • Capture secondary research of the impact of Covid-19 on other businesses and clusters in London and nationally
  • Influence future policies to support more resilient creative clusters
  • In particular, work with the GLA and other regional partners to inform policy and interventions in London over coming years.

This research will be led by Graham Hitchen and Federico Vaz, supported by an advisory group including Professors Andrew Chitty and Jo Tacchi.

The following pages link through to the various assets and information generated to support this research project:

The final report, in five sections, is here.