26th November 2020

We were thrilled when London Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons, agreed to cast her discerning eye over the vast array of our makers’ pieces during Cockpit Makers Market and create her dream gift wish list.

Prior to her role as Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine was Head of Culture for the Mayor of London for over a decade and has played a central role in the cultural revitalisation of London. Justine was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s New Year honours list for Services to Culture in London. She believes culture is central to London’s success as a global city and has the power to transform lives and places. 

Justine’s top tips of Cockpit makers are:
Artist in wood, Eleanor Lakelin
Textile artist, Ekta Kaul
Leather bags and accessories, Studio Candice Lau
Engraver and jeweller, Castro Smith
Musical instrument restorer, Richard Mattingly

On agreeing to support Cockpit’s makers during these strange times, Justine said: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our cultural industries, with the creative small businesses that make London such an inspiring and innovative place to live hit especially hard. These businesses need our support and the Cockpit Makers’ Market is a great example of how we can all help small and medium-sized companies during these challenging times.”


Justine Simons has conceived and delivered the Mayor’s statutory culture strategy since the inception of the GLA, enshrining culture at the core of public life. She has shaped the Mayor’s Investment Strategy for the creative industries and overseen City Hall’s work across music, theatre, film, fashion, design, games and art – including building the Fourth Plinth Commission into the UK’s biggest sculpture prize.

Justine founded and is Chair of the World Cities Culture Forum – a major global initiative on culture and the future of cities, involving 30 cities worldwide. Justine also played a lead role in the cultural programme for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – staging the capital’s biggest ever festival with over 5000 events. Prior to the Mayor’s Office, Justine spent over a decade in the field of contemporary dance, producing, commissioning and running festivals and venues.