London Living Wage – The Bureau of Silly Ideas

8 September 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Paying Living Wage represents a moral code to Lambeth employer the Bureau of Silly Ideas.

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London Living Wage – The Bureau of Silly Ideas

After 20 years with a policy of paying creative freelancers the equivalent of London Living Wage, The Bureau of Silly Ideas this year officially became an accredited Living Wage Employer as part of a refresh of recruitment and HR policies, and as proof of their ethical values. “We’re part of Lambeth’s creative enterprise zone (CEZ) and Living Wage accreditation just became natural as part of those updates” says founder Roger Hartley

Why Pay Living Wage?

“In London, you can’t expect people to live on minimum wage. We stand against making profit at the expense of workers.  You can’t have a world where people can’t afford a decent standard of living.”

Lambeth Roots

In 1992, before starting the Bureau, Roger built the world’s largest solid Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario in a workshop in Brixton’s railways arches – the same place they built the ‘Gherkin’.

“Now, we present combined arts ideas – usually free of charge at delivery – from radio-controlled, talking wheelie bins going walkabout, on to a giant foot you can drive – created for Lambeth Council to raise awareness of a no-car day, and on up to “Superfictions” – like our current project giving marbles with inspirational messages to UN leaders, who always seem to be losing theirs. We have studios in the arches near Pop Brixton where we’re starting a ‘school of street’ for outdoor artists who are increasingly being financially squeezed out of central London.

“We employ a core team of three or four people, but depending on the project, we can have 20, 30, or even 40 people out working on a show.”

Ethics and morality

“I’d encourage other Lambeth businesses to pay Living Wage. Paying London Living Wage represents a code of ethics and a moral standing – and I believe that those things will come back to you as a business advantage. You’re putting money into society rather than taking it out.”

For more about London Living Wage

For more about the Bureau of Silly Ideas

Contact the Bureau Of Silly Ideas at or phone on 0207 0959 9666. As a go- to destination for creative ideas they are working on “something special” in Lambeth for Christmas at the request of Brixton Bid and for the first time in 20 year are opening their studios up for seasonal party celebrations!  Check out their website for all the ways that Lambeth residents can get involved.