London resilience funds look for capital recovery by design

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wants the capital’s economic and social recovery from the covid-19 pandemic to be led by design and innovation.

Sadiq Khan: wants recovery to be innovation-led

His £1million Resilience Fund, announced last year and with grants of up to £50,000 each, will support innovative businesses in tech and other sectors to respond to some of the key recovery challenges facing the capital. It is now open to applications.

Mayor Khan’s partners with the fund, who will work with applicants to develop their ideas include Better Bankside and Kings College London, Groundwork London, Lambeth Council and the Living Wage Foundation.

Each partner – along with the Greater London Authority – is in charge of one of 10 challenges, which include diverting surplus food to community organisations helping those most in need, supporting high streets, integrating the latest covid-19 data and travel information for Londoners, and making workspaces more flexible, affordable and responsive to the changing needs of businesses as a result of the pandemic.

Partners will also consider the challenges facing workers in the gig economy and design solutions to tackle the inequalities faced by those who have provided vital services over the last year.

The Fund, delivered in partnership with Nesta and funded by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), will provide grants to develop solutions to help the city emerge stronger from covid-19 – as well as ensuring it is more resilient to major challenges in the future.

The Design Council is working with the Mayor on schemes to help London’s recovery

The Mayor is also calling on public bodies, charities, businesses, social enterprises and educational institutions to take part in Designing London’s Recovery – an initiative launching today which will harness the capital’s design talent to make a vital contribution to the capital’s recovery from covid-19.

Delivered in partnership with the Design Council and the London Office for Technology and Innovation (LOTI) – and also funded by LEAP – Designing London’s Recovery will help organisations from a range of sectors work together to tackle the city’s most pressing challenges.

The initiative will focus on Londoners’ needs – particularly vulnerable residents and those hardest hit by coronavirus – to help the capital emerge as a healthier, fairer and more sustainable place to live and work.

Previous Design Council projects have included addressing the issues of violence in A&E departments, responding to the challenges of an ageing society and transforming economies to better reflect 21st Century needs.

While the Mayor’s Resilience Fund has been designed to develop solutions put forward by innovative London businesses, organisations taking part in Designing London’s Recovery will co-create solutions in partnership with the Design Council and LOTI.

Individuals and organisations will be asked to express their interest and successful applicants will receive a share of £500,000 as well as expert support from the Design Council. Further details will be revealed in the coming weeks.

“The challenges we face as a result of the covid-19 pandemic affect every area of our lives and the economy,” Mayor Khan said.

Cat Drew: ‘Innovation continues beyond the lifetime of the programme’

“But I know our city is home to a wealth of innovation – and so I have no doubt that many of the solutions we need to drive our recovery will come from right here in the capital.

“I’m doing all I can to support our creative businesses and organisations – so I’m calling on them to come forward with their ideas and take advantage of the funding and support on offer.

“This has been a very dark and difficult period for our city and I hope that these funds will bring together the capital’s talent and help build a more resilient city.”

Cat Drew, the chief design officer at the Design Council, said: “We’re excited to be working with the Mayor of London and LOTI to put design at the heart of London’s recovery.

“By building design skills in all programme participants, it means that innovation continues beyond the projects and lifetime of the programme, building London’s resilience for future change.”


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1 Response to London resilience funds look for capital recovery by design

  1. Colin Cooper says:

    What a fabulous idea, except that means IF all of them want the maximum amount that’s a whole 20 companies helped. I KNOW that is a very simplistic view, but rather puts the amount into some perspective!

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