Looking for studios

ACAVA needs to find more buildings. If you introduce us to a building we go on to use then you will be assured of a studio in it.

This not a comprehensive guide and there are no rules. We do not necessarily expect you to become this involved in any negotiations as ACAVA has experience of this. However, it will help to establish some of the aspects that need to be considered when attempting to access the feasibility of a property. The attach PDF showcases an abbreviated version of the following guide.

A promising building will have:

  • floor area over 3,000 sq. ft.
  • affordable rent – work out the cost per square foot (divide the advertised rent by the total square footage), then add £6 per square foot for all the additional costs to get an approximate rent to artists. If this is what you can afford, let us know! (The rent will also depend on the conversion costs and the length of the lease.)
  • a reasonably long lease, ideally between 5-15yrs. (A break clause needs to be treated as an end of lease for budgeting purposes.) Longer leases can be considered, but only if an ‘internal repairing’ lease which don’t burden us with long term liabilities
  • good natural lighting, simple to convert, and in reasonably good condition, especially the roof
  • not far from transport links

On finding a promising building we will need to establish:

The Contact: who is letting it? Obtain agents details from the to-let sign or ask neighbours who owns the property. Failing these it is important to get the exact address so that we can enquire after the owner.

The area: how big it is? Smaller buildings are generally less economical to run and do not provide enough studios. We would prefer buildings over 3,000 sq. ft (279 sq. metres) or about ten decent studios.

The rent: price per square foot per annum (including VAT). A building must cover its capital costs in the duration of its lease. A shorter lease will therefore often mean a higher rent (less time in which to recoup outlay).

The length of lease: By most standards ours are short leases. About five years is good. If a building was very good we will consider longer leases.

The state of repair: Conversion costs are a major part of any studio set up. ACAVA carries liability for people’s safety and will not build unsafe conversions, local authorities and fire departments must be satisfied with the standards of any conversion work. The state of repair and layout of a building play an important part in its feasibility.

To search effectively you will need to be organised: Planning areas to explore and sharing the leg work with others. Forming a group, meeting and organising is the most likely way to success. This can lead to a dedicated group finding spaces in a property for themselves and other ACAVA artists.

Contact us

020 8960 5015

Association for Cultural
Advancement through Visual Art
54 Blechynden St. London W10 6RJ

Registered Charity 287894
Limited Company 1749730

ACAVA is a registered charity, providing art as a resource for the community, as well as running studios for artists. Being a charity means that we are exempt from the major part of the business rates. This is what helps enable us to take on and run buildings and provide studios for artists at affordable rents. It also means that we must provide benefits to the local community – normally through open studios and other arts activities that engage with local people.

PDF icon buildings-needed-web.pdf129.54 KB