Artists Studio Company has announced the purchase of their first new permanent space – 243 Ealing Road, Alperton – part of the Hill/Network Homes redevelopment of the former B&Q site.
The space has been vacant since the 441 home development around it was completed in 2014, so the deal is welcome news.
The acquisition marks a significant development for Artists Studio Company (ASC). Since the charity was founded in 1993 it has relied on end of life, short leasehold property, although acquiring permanent property is vital for providing affordable artist’s studios in a climate of unsustainable and unaffordable rents.
London Boroughs are being encouraged to invest in creative communities by initiatives such as the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zones and the emphasis placed on supporting London’s cultural and creative industries in the London Plan. The opening of ASC’s purpose built studios coincides with the appointment of Brent as London Borough of Culture 2020. ASC is developing long term, affordable workspace solutions for creative people and their communities.
243 Ealing Road is ASC’s template for expanding the charity’s benefit groups and services. Here there will be a mix of fine artists with start-up and mid-career creative businesses. ASC will provide support to the tenants through free training and development together with financial support via business growth loans.
Artists Studio Company CEO Peter Flack comments: “Artists and creatives can no longer afford to live and work in London. Our city is envied by the rest of the world for its creative output and culture but we have reached a tipping point. My Charity has provided affordable workspace to 1000’s of artists and creatives for over 25 years. We have always operated in low rent buildings but now these properties have gone. To continue our work we need to acquire permanent sites at below market value. 243 Ealing Road and Brent’s other affordable workspace initiatives across the borough are exactly what is needed both in Brent and across the capital. My organisation was able to purchase 243 Ealing Road at 50% below its market value enabling us to support local creative people permanently.”
The site contains 27 bespoke studios at affordable inclusive rents. 1 unit will be offered rent-free for the life time of the building to a young creative (aged between 18-30 years old) who is a Brent resident.
Alongside these, there will be 10 micro studios designed for small creative businesses at very low rent. All tenants will benefit from shared hospitality facilities and meeting room.
The project will be spread over three Ground and First Floor blocks within the Network Homes scheme, which is overlooking the Grand Union Canal and a 2 minute walk from Alperton Tube Station.
The studios are expected to be in operation in August 2018.