Acme Studios — FAQ

Supporting Artists since 1972


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

How do I join the Acme studio waiting list?

To join our waiting list, you will need to complete a short online form and provide an up to date artist CV. The application form contains questions which help us understand your needs e.g. the size of space you are seeking, locations you prefer or whether you are prepared to share a studio.

We then match this information against studio spaces as they become available. There is an initial one-off £10 registration fee, paid via PayPal or debit/credit card. To ensure our waiting list remains active, registered artists must update their information annually to remain on the waiting list - there is no additional charge.

Click here to join the waiting list.

How are studios allocated?

Allocation of long-term studio space is made on the basis of registration date. Studios are offered to artists as they become available, either through ‘turnover’ (when an artist leaves a space) in one of our existing buildings or through the development of new buildings.

How long will it take me to be offered a studio?

There are over 1,700 artists already registered with us and it is difficult to predict with any accuracy the rate of turnover or exactly when new buildings will become available.

The more flexible you can be about the type of studio you want when you register the more quickly a space may become available to you and we recommend indicating as many building preferences as possible on the registration form. Short term sub-lets and shares are also available more often than long-term studios.

I have another creative practice, can I still become an Acme tenant?

In order to meet Acme’s charitable objectives, tenants must be ‘non-commercial fine artists’. This phrase is used to encompass the activity of artists who make art for its creative, cultural, intellectual or philosophical value, as much as, and even in preference to, its commodity value. That is not to say that Acme’s tenants do not make efforts to sell their work or work or skills as fine art practitioners, privately or through agents, galleries, art dealers or public commissions.

People engaged in creative activity for purely commercial purposes are not eligible for an Acme studio. For example, such activity may be associated with those working in contemporary craft, or within the design, fashion, film and video, or music industries.

I’d like to share a studio with a friend, is that possible?

Lots of Acme’s studios are shared. If you are offered a studio you can nominate a friend(s) to share with you but they each need to be a fine artist and register with Acme. Studios can be shared informally for up to a year but after a year Acme can request that sharers are reflected on a joint tenancy.

If you wish to share your studio after a tenancy has started, please request a copy our Guidelines for Sharing.

What does a studio sub-let mean?

We recognise that at times artists need to have a short break from a studio for practical or financial reasons. Tenants can apply to Acme for permission to let their studio to another artist for a limited period of 3 to 12 months whilst keeping an option to return. These sub-lets are managed by Acme and offered to artists registered on the waiting list. If you are just joining the waiting list it is worth considering a sub-let which is likely to come up much sooner than a long term studio.

Artists who take temporary space can remain on the waiting list until a studio which meets their requirements becomes available.

How accessible are Acme’s studios?

Our website lists which of the studio buildings have lifts/level access etc. as well as information on local transport. Acme is committed to ensuring that as many of our studio buildings as possible are physically accessible to users and the public. We are also committed to making adaptations to studios, wherever practicable, to meet the needs of artists with disabilities. When allocating studio space we reserve the right to give priority to disabled artists.

What will I need to pay if I’m offered a studio?

The monthly rent quoted when a studio is offered will include building insurance, business rates, maintenance, service charges, water, refuse collection and other related direct costs. Electricity is billed separately according to use and most studios are fitted with individual meters which are read and billed to the tenant quarterly.

On being offered a studio you will be asked to pay a returnable deposit equal to one month’s rent. There is an initial administration charge of £100 for a long-term agreement, or £50 if taking a sub-let. Payment of rent is on the 1st of each month and we ask rent to be paid by Direct Debit or standing order.

What kind of agreement will I have to sign?

Artists occupy studios on a tenancy agreement controlled by Landlord and Tenant legislation. This type of tenancy agreement is not a secure tenancy. You will have no right of renewal should Acme not renew your lease at the end of 7 years, or if Acme has to give notice at the end of a building lease.

How much notice do I need to give?

You can give eight weeks notice to give up a studio at any time.

How often will the rent go up?

Rents are reviewed on 1 April every other year. Please check individual studio pages for further details. If you are offered a studio the date of the next review will be indicated on the tenancy. We try to keep increases as small as possible, but rents will increase every 2 years.

What are the hours I can use a studio ?

All Acme studios have 24 hour access. They are however strictly non residential.

Can I move to another studio if I am already a tenant?

When taking up the offer of a studio space you no longer remain active on the waiting list. However, as an Acme tenant you can request to join the transfer list for another Acme studio that better meets your needs. Many artists move studios within Acme and we recognises that artists studio needs in terms of size and location etc. can change.

Do the studios have heating?

There is central heating at Carlew House, Copperfield Road, Orsman Road and Warton House. All other buildings are unheated. New-build properties have double glazing and are better insulated and so easier to heat. Acme recommend artists use thermostatically controlled oil filled electric radiators.

What’s the position with insurance?

Acme has insurance cover for the building only. Acme’s insurance does not cover your personal belongings, tools, equipment or your work in your studio, even in the event of fire or flood. Nor does it cover loss of or damage to personal belongings in common areas of a building (storage of your personal belongings anywhere other than your studio is not permitted). We advise you to take out your own contents insurance to cover your personal belongings and tools.

Do the studios have Internet?

Only 2 of Acme’s buildings (Harrow Road and Leven Road) currently have wireless internet included in the rent. Most buildings are not hard wired but artists can arrange to set up their own internet provision. For further information on this please refer to the list of studio buildings.

Are there opportunities for taking part in Open Studios?

Most of Acme’s studio buildings arrange open days which are organised by the artist occupants.

Acme offers financial support for these and artists are welcome to suggest public events for their individual buildings.