Acme Studios — Fire Station FAQ

Supporting Artists since 1972


Here are some of the questions we are commonly asked about our Fire Station Residency. If you can’t find something, or have further queries please get in touch.

Who can apply? / The residency programme / Occupation restrictions / Dates of tenancies

I am a current Acme studio tenant, can I apply?

Yes, however artists without affordable, long-term studio tenancy may be prioritised.

Does it help my application if I am already registered on Acme's waiting list?

No, the residency selection is independent of Acme's non-residential studio waiting list.

Both myself and my partner, whom I live with, are artists. How should we apply?

You should both complete a separate application form, then email worklive@acme.org.uk to clarify you are applying for one studio.

We will consider your applications jointly, but as the units were designed for single occupation you will need to propose how you intend to share the space.

Can I apply if I intend to live in the unit with my partner, who is not an artist?

Please indicate on the application form that you intend to share the unit with a partner, and provide their details.

I am living with dependants. Can I apply?

Unfortunately the units at the Fire Station cannot accommodate artists with dependent children due to the age, design and location of the building.

Families are welcome to apply to Acme's other work/live programmes at High House and Glassyard buildings.

I am a sound artist, can I apply?

Yes, however the studios are not soundproofed so you would need to use headphones when working. There is an additional studio space which can be booked for specific projects subject to availability.

I have a noisy practice and use power tools when working, can I apply?

All tenants have the right to 'quiet enjoyment' of their premises. If your practice is likely to cause disturbance or disruption to other tenants then we would ask you to take precautions to prevent this. This could mean using an alternative workshop for noisy or very dusty work, headphones for music or limits on the hours you work. If you think these restrictions will hinder your working practice, we would not recommend you apply.

I use heavy machinery, can I apply?

Unfortunately no, each studio space is relatively small and not suitable for heavy machinery.

Can I re-apply once my tenancy finishes?

Once you have been successfully housed in an Acme work/live studio you will not be eligible to apply again.

Can I apply for work/live studios in more than one Acme building?

Yes, however the studios open for applications one building at a time so you will need to make a new application for each. Applications will open around six months before the move in date for each building. Click here for forthcoming application deadlines.

What do you mean by UK-based?

You are resident in the United Kingdom with the right to remain for the duration of the residency.

Can Acme support visa applications to remain for the five years of the residency?

No, unfortunately we are unable to support visa applications.

Why do you allocate by need/hardship and not solely by quality of work?

It is Acme's objective to support the advancement of the arts by providing support for artists in necessitous circumstances. This means we are open to supporting all fine artists in financial need who can demonstrate a professional practice and for whom fine art practice is their principle activity and ambition.

What will the support programme consist of?

There will be group and individual professional development opportunities throughout the five year residency. Actual activities will respond to the needs and practices of the selected artists, however in broad terms this will include studio visits, critical discussions, gallery tours and organised social events. Selected artists will be actively involved in helping to shape year on year programming and, in addition to their work/live space will have access to the shared resource of ‘Studio X’, a clean space for experimentation and small scale presentation. It is expected that selected artists actively participate in the Fire Station residency programming and contribute positively to the on-site artist community.

What outcomes do I need to deliver during the course of the programme?

There are no defined outcomes other than the commitment to further your practice.

Will I be required to open my studio up for events or visitors during the course of the programme?

You will never be required to, however you are welcome to host your own critical discussions or studio visits.

The only visits to your unit that may be essential are for repairs and maintenance if something needs fixing and we would always contact you first. Occasionally Acme may have visitors we would like to show around the units in order to further our goal of creating more in future. In this case we would always seek your permission first: these visits would never be obligatory.

Do I have to live in it?

Yes, applicants with a demonstrated need for combined work/live space will be prioritised and therefore it is the expectation of Acme that the studio will be the work/live address of the artist tenant.

Can I rent my studio out to someone else?

This will depend on individual circumstances. We understand that artists may have other residency opportunities which take them out of London, and could benefit from letting their studio during this time. Any temporary arrangement must be agreed in advance with Acme.

Can I advertise my studio for short term let if I am away on a work trip or holiday e.g. through Airbnb or Facebook?

No, you must consult Acme prior to any arrangement (see question above). It is important for the security of the building and the harmony of the wider Fire Station community that the work/live studios are occupied by the named artist tenant only. Any temporary rental arrangement must be approved by Acme.

We will not tolerate any behaviour from artists who aim to profiteer from their work/live studios and your place on the residency programme will be at risk if you are found to be doing so.

Can I have a friend stay in my work/live studio?

Short visits from friends are anticipated and there is no need to inform Acme. Any guests staying in your studio for longer than a month would need to be registered with Acme.

Can I bring my pet?

Unfortunately we cannot have pets in the studios.

Can I view the studios before applying?

Yes, we strongly recommend you attend a viewing, research the local area and try out the transport connections before deciding to apply. Please see Eligibility and Selection for more details.

Why is the tenancy offered for five years?

We wish to offer this opportunity to as many artists as possible. This means limiting tenancies to a defined period. Building on Acme’s experience of running work/live residencies we have determined that five years is the optimum length of tenancy. This gives artists the stability and financial predictability to make mid-term plans for their practice.

Can I remain beyond the five years?

No, the tenancy is fixed at five years. This is so Acme can offer the resource to as many artists as possible.

Can I apply for a shorter length of time?

No, our aim is that artists plan for how they would build their practice over the five year time frame and commit to these intentions. There are also costs to Acme associated with renovating between tenancies which would increase the level of rents we would need to charge all artist tenants at each location. We want to avoid this. However we recognise that exceptional circumstances may arise which prevent an individual from remaining for the full five years and artists may contact Acme to discuss leaving earlier. A minimum of four months’ notice will be required if you need to leave.

When can I move in?

Tenancies for the Fire Station Residency (2020-2025) will begin from Tuesday 14 April 2020.

Can I move in at a later date?

No, we expect resident artists to start and finish their programme at the same time.