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Auro Foxcroft

At 28, Auro Foxcroft was a furniture designer looking for a studio space, but couldn't afford one in London, so he thought of building his own studio from recycled material, and finally hit on the idea of using disused train carriages to design and build affordable studios for artists and creative industries in central London. His brainchild, Village Underground, looks like a piece of modern art, but it is actually one of London's most desirable and affordable workspace for creative professionals. Today, more than 35 individuals – from freelancers to small creative businesses – are based in the carriages. Together with a vast Victorian warehouse used for corporate and community events as well as for workshops and exhibitions, Village Underground London is socially driven, a charitable organization and environmentally conscious. Commercial uses directly support the production of new creative work and emerging cultural practitioners. This essential balance allows them to act as a stage – facilitating a vibrant and diverse cross section of creative endeavor, cultural hybrid and artistic collaboration. After finding an access to finance it, Village Underground is an evolving project building an international platform for creativity and culture, finding original ways to expand the concept to Berlin and elsewhere. Auro in all originality presents the business model of supporting and sustaining independent culture that works.