Southwark Studios is a Community Benefit Society.
Since 2009 we have operated workspaces for artists and helped developers deliver affordable workspace planning obligations, securing new homes for our vital creative industries.
Southwark Studios are currently designing a number of new locations, each secured on long-term agreements that guarantee truly affordable workspaces for local artists.
Our aim is to build London’s new cultural infrastructure, securing the spaces needed for London’s working artists.
Southwark Studios has pioneered a new solution that is securing the affordable workspaces required for artists to continue to work in our capital.
For over a decade we have developed our long-term leasehold model, successfully integrating creative workspaces into new-build and mixed-use redevelopment sites.
Southwark Studios engages with developers throughout the planning process, with an aim to secure detailed agreements on terms that are viable for all stakeholders. The sites we have secured to date are currently used by the Greater London Authority as examples of best-practice.
We continue to seek new opportunities to partner with developers, and can easily replicate our successful model in new locations, delivering site diversity, high-impact social value, and activation with an engaged community of creative, local artists.
Southwark Studios unique experience in achieving planning obligations in the emerging sector of ‘affordable workspace’, whilst guaranteeing spaces remain viable for working artists, is helping to deliver our ultimate goal: securing the future of London’s cultural infrastructure.
Founded in 2009 Southwark Studios took a meanwhile-use lease on an industrial building near Tower Bridge Road.
We converted this space into 43 studio units that were let on all-inclusive affordable terms. We also provided a range of communal areas like our cinema, dark room, library, meeting rooms and kitchens.
We operated at capacity, catering to over 250 artists including the UK’s top Kickstarter and Etsy creative businesses.
80% of our tenants used our Southwark Studios as their place of business, 67% of our artists were female, and 25% BAME. We curated a productive, working community for creative practitioners, assisting to launch careers of internationally renowned artists.
Additionally we hosted a successful community engagement programme, welcoming visitors to our Open Studios, exhibitions and educational events. Our events were always free to the public, and our Gallery space was offered pro-bono for other creative groups and local charities.
Southwark Studios maintains our strong ties to the local community, and we look forward to opening our new sites to give artists secure and affrodbale workspaces to call home.