It’s expensive, stressful and covered in pigeon crap. But when it comes to culture, London’s the centre of the universe. Or is it? Beulah Devaney meets creatives who’ve turned their backs on the capital…
The received wisdom is that young, creative people should move to London. It’s got the best jobs, the networking opportunities, the inspiring history, the emerging talent, the arts universities, the collectives, the cliques and the clichés to propel any young artist to the top of their chosen industry. But this well trodden route is starting to falter. People aren’t moving to London as quickly as they used to and they are reluctant to stay once they get there.
More of us than ever are leaving the Big Smoke for other UK cities. So why is this – and should you be thinking about leaving London?
“London is a brilliant place for accessing everything you could possibly wish for, including amazing art, culture and creative people from all over the world, but for me, it wasn’t sustainable,” says Jane Bradley, writer and founder of literary charity For Books’ Sake, who left London for Manchester in 2011. “I needed space – physical, mental, financial – and I just wasn’t getting that in London.”