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Affordable Residential Accommodation for artists

Come and live with Bow Arts in Thamesmead

Bow Arts has been providing a unique scheme of affordable accommodation for artists designers and makers since 2007.


Utilising what would otherwise be empty properties, over the past decade this scheme has enabled hundreds of artists and creative workers to access truly affordable space to live, and work in. The access to affordable space and reduction in monthly outgoings has enabled artists to focus more time on their primary creative practice, and has also enabled many on this scheme a route to more stable long term housing.

In addition, Bow Arts has invested significant sums back into the local community in Bow and Poplar, utilising surplus income through structured programmes of education and arts programmes directly involving local residents and young people.

Our carefully selected artist communities have in turn through their active presence on site helped create a more lively positive atmosphere on the estates where they are based, and generated their own local projects.

image: 'Greening Brownfield' Gardening group

How to access this affordable accommodation opportunity

In 2018 we launch the next phase of this project in Thamesmead, working alongside Peabody Housing. This will support a community of artists,makers and designers living and working in South Thamesmead, with the new Lakeside Centre as the hub for this activity.

Who is this scheme for?

We are looking for outgoing, resourceful and friendly individuals, who are active in their creative practice and are able to benefit from the opportunity of affordable accommodation and contribute to a new creative community here. Priority will be given to those artists, designers and makers looking for both affordable accommodation and studio workspace with Bow Arts in Thamesmead. Read more about what we are planning in Thamesmead here

If interested in applying for this scheme, we strongly suggest you make sure you have completed an application with us now,

image: Artist Bhajan Hunjan at the Bow Arts Leopold Estate fete


See what Self Help Housing says about the project here.

Read about us on the Homes and Communities Agency website here.

“It’s really great, I can’t believe I have been given this opportunity, and knowing that part of my rent goes directly to supporting local communities is incredible”.    

Artist living in Balfron Tower, Poplar

image: Artist in Residence William Raban with a school group in Balfron Tower

“Without my lovely flat I would never have been in a position to live in central London for ten years and save up money to get a mortgage. Bow Arts has changed my life and always for the better.”  

Artist living in Warren House, Bow.

The benefits to artists and landlords

Download a case study prepared by the National Federation of Artist Studio Providers (NFASP)  which looks at how the Bow Arts Live Work scheme creates benefits for landlords, communities and artists. Download the case study here (PDF, 140 KB)


image: South Thamesmead