When Design District was launched in 2021, it set out to keep creativity - and the creative sector - at the heart of London. With Covid-19 as a backdrop and perilous economic times playing their part, the following two years were not easy for many creatives. And yet businesses based in Design District have managed to thrive.
The 2023 Design District Social Life Report shows that Design District’s innovative workspace model has helped creative businesses prosper when many of their peers are not. With purpose-built, architecturally designed workspaces, a diverse group of tenants, and a collective focus on collaboration, Design District has built a supportive environment where creative businesses flourish.
Improved business confidence
The pandemic was tough for almost every industry, and especially for creatives. By the end of March 2020, half of creative organisations and freelancers had already lost 100% of their income, according to the Creative Industries Federation.
Continued economic pressures have left their mark on the sector. However, Design District’s adaptable model, which focuses on versatility and business support, has helped its creatives not only rebuild, but thrive. In fact, 71% of businesses feel more confident in their business since moving to Design District, and 84% consider their business to be operating successfully.
Maintenance and growth
Not only do tenants report increased confidence, but business results are up too. 90% of tenants have maintained or grown their team size since making Design District their creative home, and two in three businesses have maintained or increased their turnover during that time.
This goes against the wider trends felt amongst the creative industry where turnover is down and office sizes are in flux. Design District tenants are not only maintaining or growing their headcount, but nearly three-quarters report having greater confidence in their business since moving in. Design District’s flexible offering has helped businesses bloom, along with its focus on affordability which seeks to meet the needs and budgets of a wide range of businesses.
Design District has established itself as a hub where community and collaboration are nurtured and encouraged. By designing and building beautiful, inspiring spaces tailored specifically to creatives, the District has been able to nurture a close-knit community of individuals and businesses from diverse creative disciplines. This is integral to an overall mission which seeks to build a self-supportive creative ecosystem where the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Community and collaboration take many forms, from impromptu social gatherings to more structured events designed with creatives in mind. For Design District tenants, one-third of businesses have reported developing new products, services, or ways of working with others based in the District, showcasing the considerable opportunities gained from working within an ecosystem full of fellow creatives. This is testament to Design District’s belief that clustering creative businesses together increases the potential for innovation.
More than 170 businesses of all shapes and sizes call London’s Design District home, and there is still space for more. The 2023 Design District Social Life Report highlights the District as being a “haven of stability and opportunity”, and a place where creatives can find an affordable, stimulating workspace in which to grow their business.
For deeper insights into Design District’s two-year success, including learning about its blended-rent model and focus on workplace wellbeing, read the report here.