Acme, supporting artists since 1972

New Building Developments

Track Record and Innovation

Acme has the most experience of any non-profit organisation in working with policy makers, housing associations and commercial developers to create new models of delivering permanent, affordable workspace and artist housing in development schemes.

Acme has partnered in eight schemes, typically by purchasing long-term leases in excess of 100 years, including:

  • the first ever housing scheme to include artists’ studios at the Galleria with Barratt in 2006
  • the first 100% affordable mixed-use scheme at Leven Road with Swan Housing in 2009
  • the first mixed-use scheme including artists’ studios initiated by a local authority at Harrow Road with Catalyst Housing and LB Brent in 2010
  • the first stand-alone artist studio building supported by a regional development body at High House with London Thames Gateway Development Corporation in 2013
  • the first new-build studio building to provide dedicated ‘transitional space’ for recent art graduates at Glassyard with Watkin Jones Group and University of the Arts London in 2013

We continue to develop new models of creating studios with a wide range of partners.


Shaping Policy

Acme works with local authority planners and planning consultants at the early stage of a scheme’s development. This ensures that resulting projects not only fully comply with policy requirements but also bring maximum benefits to the council, the development, artists and the local area.

Acme works with local authorities to develop policies which create affordable workspace or artist housing, as well as continued or expanded employment use on mixed-use sites.

Acme works with architects and planning consultants to create successful, vibrant schemes in ‘difficult’ areas.


Acme creates studio space for creative, dynamic and diverse micro-businesses and SMEs. Artists bring cultural, economic and social value to new developments.

Residents benefit from living in vibrant, integrated communities alongside creative neighbours.

Acme creates permanent resources for local employment which remain continuously fully-occupied from day one.

Acme’s quiet use of commercial space as artist studio is perfectly compatible with housing and provides guaranteed use of space which may may be difficult to fill and may otherwise lie empty.

Acme maintains a waiting list of other art-led organisations looking for affordable space with Acme who can bring additional benefit to local communities and further animate a development.

Reliability and Finance

Acme is self-financing, a not-for-profit organisation with a considerable asset base and stable revenue and access to direct finance. We use commercial lending to finance our purchases and are not reliant on grants, donors or crowd-funding to achieve schemes. We are able to move quickly to ensure finance is in place.

Matchmakers Wharf, Homerton. Photo: Telford Homes (2012)

Matchmakers Wharf, Homerton. Photo: Telford Homes (2012)

"Residential buyers enjoy having a colony of artists as neighbours; it's one of the development's attractions."

Clive Fenton, Southern Group Director, Barratt Homes

Galleria, Peckham. Photo: Acme 2006

Galleria, Peckham. Photo: Acme 2006

The Glassyard, Stockwell. Photo: Acme (2013)

The Glassyard, Stockwell. Photo: Acme (2013)

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  • Acme Studios
  • 44 Copperfield Road
  • London
  • E3 4RR
  • T +44 (0)20 8981 6811
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National Housing Federation member | NFASP member | Supported using public funding by Arts Council England