Acme Studios — FAQ

Supporting Artists since 1972


COVID–19: Artist FAQ

Last updated: Thursday 28 May 2020

Are Acme's studios open?

All Acme studio buildings are currently open and continue to be regularly cleaned and restocked with soap and toilet paper when necessary.

Many of our artists have found studio accessible to be valuable to both their practice and wellbeing during this time, and we strongly recommend following official government guidelines regarding social distancing, safety and travel.

If you are feeling unwell, please do not use your studio. Please consult the latest advice from the NHS about Coronavirus (COVID–19), including what to do if you have symptoms, stopping the spread of infection and more: nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

What support is Acme offering its artists during the crisis?

We have made funds available to support our artist tenants who are currently facing financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus (COVID–19) crisis, including rent payment breaks of up to three months for all tenants. Click here to find out more.

What government support is available to artists?

Self-employment Income Support Scheme
If you are self-employed, you may be eligible to claim a grant worth 80 per cent of your trading profits up to £2,500 per month. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible. gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Deferring Income Tax payments
For Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 can now be deferred until 31 January 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (extended to October 2020)
If you have any type of PAYE employment contract, including zero-hours or temporary, and are 'furloughed', you may be eligible to be paid 80 per cent of your wages through this scheme. Speak to your employer about whether they can claim through this scheme as individuals cannot apply directly. gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Or, use the government's new Business Coronavirus Support Finder: gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Do Acme's artists qualify for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)?

This government grant, which is applicable to individual businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief on 11 March 2020, is only applicable to artists who hold studios at Matchmaker's Wharf. The reason for this is due to how buildings are valued, and how rates and reliefs are applied by local authorities.

Our other buildings are in receipt of mandatory (charitable) rate relief and therefore not eligible for this government grant. The lack of even distribution of government support is disappointing, and a significant number of other artist studio providers with multiple buildings are in a similar position.

In this instance, Acme's role has been to ensure that all eligible artists at Matchmaker's Wharf are aware of their eligibility. We are currently lobbying for this grant to be extended to other artists and businesses.

What is Acme doing on behalf of its artists and the wider sector?

Since the crisis began, Acme has been working collaboratively with other artist studio providers to actively lobby the Treasury, the Greater London Authority, Arts Council England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to establish further financial support for our sector. Two funds have been recently announced in response – the Arts Council England Emergency Fund and the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk Fund.

Arts Council England’s financial support is tied to its current strategic outcomes, and therefore unsuitable for artist studio rent relief.

Acme has submitted an application to the Culture at Risk fund, for the purpose of enhancing our artist rent relief efforts.

We are continuing our work to push for more significant funding to support our artists. Other groups, such as Artists Union England, Creative Industries Federation and CVAN have also been lobbying the government to support the wider creative sector. Working together, we are able to apply consistent pressure for support for those artists who are adversely affected by the crisis.

How do I contact Acme?

All staff are currently working remotely, and we are responding to artist inquiries and concerns as quickly as we can. If you have an emergency, such as a flood or break in, please contact Message Direct on 01202 866 776.

Please contact mail@acme.org.uk if you have any other queries - your message will be passed on to the relevant department.