The Creative Hub in Jamaica will open its doors on Monday, July 27, 2020, in Downtown Kingston at the old Swiss Stores Building at 107 Harbour Street. The restaurant, wine bar, retail and gallery space is downstairs, and upstairs is the new Hub space, a partnership between the Hub Coworking Ltd. and arts and culture nonprofit, Kingston Creative.
A Creative Hub is defined as ‘a space that brings together people who work in the creative and cultural industries’. There is estimated to be 2.2 million people working from coworking spaces globally. These people are generally self-employed, MSMEs and freelancers, who now represent 70% of global employment. Creative Hubs are critical to the development of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem as they encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration through an active programme of workshops, seminars, hackathons, accelerators and fun networking events.
The goal of the Creative Hub is to promote collaboration across the creative sector, catalyse growth in the creative economy and to explore “Createch”; what happens at the intersection of creativity and technology. The hub will focus on the impact that augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain and other emerging digital technologies can have on the culture and talent that exists in Jamaica.
Joelle Smith, Managing Director, The Hub Coworking Ltd., had this to share “The journey to the Kingston Creative Hub has been a long one, but it is well worth the wait. We canvassed members of the creative community and collaborated with some of the most talented artisans, to produce a space where creatives can come together and thrive. The availability of modern facilities and equipment curated specifically for creative development and business growth makes this a unique offering, and we are proud to once more be pioneers in the Coworking Space Industry in Jamaica. Our space is the ultimate productivity and content creation hub. For the entrepreneurs, It boasts facilities to support the day-to-day management of creative enterprises, and host workshops and other essential events. For the content creators, the space facilitates the production of podcasts, videos, photography, editing, writing and brainstorming. Dancing, animation studio and performance space are also a part of our extended offerings. Another in Jamaica, and evidence that collaboration pays off. Our partnership with Kingston Creative and support from the DBJ, The Branson Centre, TEF and Sagicor have made this possible. Welcome to the creative revolution- it starts here.”
There are six different types of Hubs:
- Studio – a small group of individuals/small businesses in a co-working space
- Centre – A large building which may have other assets like a cafe, bar, or gallery
- Network – A dispersed group of individuals or businesses, physical or virtual
- Cluster – Co-located creative individuals and business in a geographic area
- Online platform – Uses online methods, website/social media to engage globally
- Alternative – Experiments with new financial models, communities and sectors
The Kingston Creative Hub plans to deliver elements of all six models over the next three years. It opens in July 2020 with a variety of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and private offices for creatives and creative industry service providers (e.g. Legal, Marketing, Accounting, Human Resources, IT, Website Development).
It offers a podcast studio with the option of rented equipment, a digital film/photography studio and a bar, restaurant and gallery space available on the ground floor at chic eatery F&B Downtown. Other spaces across Downtown Kingston can also be leased through the Hub, including a dance studio, theatre and animation studio. The plan is to leverage some of the unused spaces in Downtown so that they can be utilised by the creative sector. Inclusion is a key success factor and residents of the Downtown area can access the Hub services at a 50% discount, in order to encourage use by residents of the surrounding communities.
The Kingston Creative Hub challenges the norm and provides an opportunity for increased collaboration, experimentation and creativity across social and industry divides. This new location offers more than a physical workspace, it is a network and a community that provides support for business development and community engagement within the creative, cultural and technology sectors.
“Jamaica is well known locally and internationally for producing incredible talent right across the creative spectrum, and we at the DBJ are very pleased to be able to support The Hub Coworking Limited through our IGNITE Programme with a grant of Four Million dollars ($4M) to support the project.” said Milverton Reynold, Managing Director, Development Bank of Jamaica. “We congratulate The Hub Coworking Limited and Kingston Creative, whose vision provides not only the physical space but also the regulatory framework that will nurture and develop our creative people. It is among our best wishes that the Kingston Creative Hub will get the support it needs to grow and become institutionalized in Jamaica”
The Kingston Creative Hub is funded by grants from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (a Division of the Ministry of Tourism).
For more information about the Kingston Creative Hub, contact [email protected].