Acme, supporting artists since 1972

Local Government

Acme Studios is the largest manager of permanent artists' studios in the UK. We regularly speak to local authorities and development agencies across the country, providing advice and presenting models of involvement and development. Acme has a long history of strategic development with key agencies including:

  • Greater London Council
  • Department of Transport
  • Housing Corporation
  • London Thames Gateway Development Corporation
  • Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation

The relationship between Acme and local government reaches back to the very creation of Acme Housing Association in 1972. It was through conversations with the Greater London Council that Acme first explored the possibility of renting empty short-life houses in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Almost 40 years on, Acme is still based in the borough, managing 123 studio units in four studio buildings - Copperfield Road, the Fire Station, Leven Road and Robinson Road.

Acme currently manages buildings in eight local authorities across London. The level of involvement ranges from a partnership with an artist studio residency in Southwark at the new-build Galleria, to managing 12 studios leased from the local authority in an old stable block in Oaks Park, a public park in Sutton.

Harrow Road

Acme understands the importance of fostering relationships over time. Our new-build Harrow Road studios which opened in 2009, is the result of conversations which began over 10 years ago.

The London Borough of Brent wanted to include workspace for local artists in the planning permission for a major new housing development. A longstanding knowledge of Acme’s studio buildings in East London meant the council knew Acme could work in partnership with the developer Catalyst Housing Group to deliver high-quality, affordable studios. All the partners involved were delighted by the 12 purpose-built studios that resulted from the scheme and Catalyst is exploring different ways artists can be involved in other sites.

Advisory Service

Acme regularly advises local government both in the UK and internationally on various aspects of artist studio development. Recent recipients of advice from Acme include:

  • Thanet District Council, Kent
  • Erewash Borough Council, Derby
  • Luton Borough Council
  • Dublin City Council, Republic of Ireland
  • Winchester City Council

If you would like to find out more about Acme's relationships with local government, please contact us.

London boroughs which contain Acme studio buildings.

London boroughs which contain Acme studio buildings.

'This is a very important sector and Brent council is very keen to expand the arts and culture offer that we have in this borough and providing studio space for our own home-grown budding artists is a very important part of that.'

Ann John OBE, Leader of Brent Council, speaking at opening of Harrow Road studios, October 2010.

Artist Yukako Shibata in her studio at Harrow Road. Photo: Hugo Glendinning (2011)

Artist Yukako Shibata in her studio at Harrow Road. Photo: Hugo Glendinning (2011)

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National Housing Federation member | NFASP member | Supported using public funding by Arts Council England