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Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery

12 February – 24 November 2021


Freelance Cohort announced

We are delighted to announce the 50 freelancers who will form the cohort for the Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery Programme.

Thank you to everyone who applied, we received over 250 incredible applications. Following an extensive recruitment process we are hugely excited to welcome the 50 individuals who impressed us with their ideas to improve working and training opportunities and status for London’s creative freelancers.

For details of who’s involved, please see the Press Release here

To keep up to date with the programme as it develops please sign up to our CF:SLR mailing list here:

If you have any queries, please contact us via


We are committed to accessibility and inclusion. If you have any access requirements or questions which we have not considered, please email the programme Access Manager and we will do all we can to help.


About the programme: 

Creative freelancers, particularly those in the performing arts, have been hit hard by COVID-19. From the very start of restrictions, up to 60% of freelancers have lost all of their work, and it is estimated that at least 200,000 Londoners have been excluded from any Government support. The pandemic has also highlighted existing inequalities facing creative freelancers – including a lack of security at work, unequal access to freelance opportunities, and a lack of a basic safety net. 

This new programme from the Mayor of London will enable a diverse group of freelancers in the culture sector to come together to explore and make recommendations on the future of freelancing. It will support the Mayor’s ambitions to improve working conditions and training, as well as advocating for the statutory changes needed for freelancers. 

Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery will amplify the voices of the self-employed in the culture sector, giving space for freelancers to shape and demonstrate their role in the recovery of London’s creative and cultural industries, as well as in wider civic spaces. 

The programmebrings together 50 diverse freelancers from across the performing arts, including performers, directors, writers, and designers, with 50 leaders of cultural organisations, funders, councils and other key decision-makers.  

How will it work?

Each freelancer will receive a bursary, match-funded by a cultural organisation, and collaborate on a six-month research project in targeted working groups, supported by a freelance facilitation team. They will feed into the Mayor of London’s work to improve job creation and retention for freelancers, as well as skills and training, and take part in advocacy and lobbying. 

The programme will be facilitated by a freelance team, enabled by Fuel, funded by LEAP, the London Economic Action Partnership, and co-designed by the Mayor of London. It builds on the first national Freelance Task Force initiated by Fuel as a pilot in April 2020, in which 150 organisations sponsored 169 freelancers across the country. It will build on the evaluation and recommendations by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, which highlighted the positive impact of the pilot, its promising potential, and suggested that external funding would improve future work in this area. 

Programme aims 

This project will empower creative freelancers in the performing arts sector to make recommendations for London’s recovery from COVID-19 in distinct areas:

  • Improving job conditions, creation and retention for creative freelancers
  • Advocating for an improved statutory position for creative freelancers
  • Establishing skills and training opportunities for creative freelancers 

This programme will support the civic role of creative freelancers in London’s recovery from COVID-19, in policymaking, and in delivery.

About LEAP 

The London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) is the local enterprise partnership for London. The LEAP brings entrepreneurs and businesses together with the Mayoralty and London Councils to identify strategic actions to support and lead economic growth and job creation in the capital.