New, additional infrastructure is required to continue to grow the Kāpiti creative industries and support the development of creative skills. With a growing creative workforce and the majority of creative practitioners operating creative businesses from home based studios, bedrooms, and garages, new infrastructure would also support potential buyers, collectors, clients and the public to more readily connect with the highly skilled Kāpiti creative sector throughout the year.
The lack of old buildings, warehouses and more affordable space to rent is having a significant impact on our creative workforce. Creative Kāpiti regularly fields enquiries for affordable access to space and has an action in the Kāpiti Economic Development Strategy 2020 – 2023 to explore the feasibility of establishing a Creative Hub. In other parts of New Zealand and overseas, creative hubs are all weather, all season, creative visitor attractions encompassing boutique shopping, creative workshops, and social spaces where people connect, discover and return.
Our consultation with creatives in the past two years has identified the need for a multi-purpose creative hub based in the largest town, Paraparaumu, that can cater for a range of creative activities across different disciplines, including night time activities. There are creative businesses currently willing to pay commercial rates as well as emerging creatives wanting to grow their business in a creative incubator start-up. Housing affordability is having a significant impact with creatives not in home ownership at particular risk of losing their creative space and business. It is also resulting in increased interest from Wellington city creatives to move up to the coast, where comparatively, the cost of living is more affordable here than the city.
What do we mean by Creative Hub? Essentially, a ‘hub’ to bring creatives together to foster greater connection and collaboration (similar to a business co-working space but with a creative focus), where services can be shared and equipment hired by both creatives and the public, and where residents and visitors can spend time.
Creative Kāpiti has researched various types of creative hubs nationally and internationally. An artist-led space with an income generation model is a more sustainable model. We are actively pursuing how to make this happen and would see this hub connecting with other developments such as Whalesong.