Acme Studios — #38 The Galleria, Peckham 2006

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#38 The Galleria, Peckham 2006

50 stories from The Acme Archive

On Tuesday 20th June 2006, in Peckham Southeast London, Labour MP David Lammy, who at the time was Minister for Culture, officially opened The Galleria. On the site of an old print company, the new-build Galleria was part of a ground-breaking, first of its kind scheme mixed-use development that combined 50 new affordable studios, and apartments (both affordable and for sale) in partnership with Barrat Homes and Southwark Council. The project was the first in capital development programme supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts – capital fund

Acme’s involvement here was a deal-clincher for Barratt Homes, after their application to build a residential-only development was turned down by Southwark Council, which wanted to keep local employment in the area. By agreeing to sell one block to Acme Studios, Barratt were able to go ahead with the rest of the development of private and affordable apartments, while Southwark Council retained a higher level of employment than had originally existed on the site.

At the time, Acme’s Co-Director Jonathan Harvey said, “Acme Studios are thrilled to pioneer this new scheme to create 50 permanent and affordable studios for artists. We are very proud that this scheme has not just provided 56 artists with a purpose-designed place to work, but has distinguished The Galleria as a new, exciting and unique place to live. Having proved the success of this scheme, we hope to work with developers and local authorities and help them create the mixed-use planning gain developments of the future.”

Acme had also been working with representatives of studio organisations throughout England and, together with support from Arts Council England, they created “The National Federation of Artists’ Studio Provider” to build on successes like the Galleria as well as representing the needs and concerns of the artists’ studio sector in England.

The Galleria has gone on to run several Open Studios events, as well as being a part of the iconic Peckham Happening 2018, Peckham Festival, celebrating creative Peckham, as well as Artcp Galleria - an initiative involving artists to showcase their work to potential collectors and supporters of the Galleria artist's work. Acme together with the Southwark Council created a residency programme at the Galleria to award local artists a year-long residency and bursary to develop and campion art and artists in the borough.