Southwark Studios is a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society (BenCom) with core principles of advancement of the arts for the public and providing assistance to the creative sector.
Founded in 2009 Southwark Studios took a short term lease on an industrial building near Tower Bridge Road. We converted this space into 43 studios that were let on affordable terms to over 250 local creative people and small businesses until 2016, when we were asked to close due to the redevelopment of our building.
Our studios provided private workspaces with power, heating, internet access and services customised to the needs of creative people. Designed to be flexible and meet the unique requirements of small creative businesses we also built a range of free-to-use communal areas such as kitchens, our cinema, library and Gallery. We hosted many art exhibitions and educational events, welcoming locals to our Open Studios, members of the public to our drawing classes, and other local creative groups and charities who used our Gallery free of charge. We still maintain our strong ties within our local area.
75% of our members were are self employed
80% used Southwark Studios as a place of business
Many of our small businesses employed multiple people within each studio
Southwark Studios design and management proved popular. We were at capacity for many years, maintained a long waiting list and had many success stories. We were home to several of the UK’s most successful Kickstarter’s, the UK’s leading Etsy store and helped launch the careers of creative professionals such as the internationally renowned fashion designer William Tempest.
Southwark Studios partnered with The Art Academy to provide discounted studio space for their recent graduates in exchange for reduced course fees for our members
It is vital that the provision of affordable creative workspace is maintained given the chronic shortage, and recent rapid reduction, of such space within London. For more information on this please visit our strategy and our future.
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