Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information on applying, and using the studios.
You need to have sent in an application to us first, then we can arrange for you to see the currently available and soon to be available spaces. Once you have registered we will contact you with a list of what is available. After that you need to get in touch with us to make a viewing appointment.
No, we do not charge a fee to register with us. We do charge a small admin fee of twenty pounds when you sign the licence agreement to actually take on a studio with us.
Availability can be hard to predict and demand can is genreally high. You need to be proactive in contacting us if you need a space, and if you can be flexible about location ,size and the sort of space you take on you will find a space sooner.
We use the application process to ensure all those registered with us are active professional artists, designers and makers. We try and make sure we place artists in spaces where their practice will be complimentary to those around them, and not cause problems due to noise etc. All other things being equal, preference will be given to those who have been registered for longest, but there may well be further individual criteria for different sites. Artists currently with a Bow Arts studio licence who wish to move to another space within our buildings may be given preference.
Within our buildings we accommodate a range of practices from artists designers and makers, including painters, printmakers, photographers, performance artists, sculptors, illustrators, , video and filmmakers, individuals workin in craft, applied arts, fashion, theatre design, graphic design and more!. We do charge a different (but still affordable) licence fee to individuals or organisations that are operating on a more commercial basis, for example limited companies or those emplying staff.
We need to know about your studio practice so we can help find you a place that will be suitable for you and others around you. Some of studios are semi open plan and therefore practices which are noisy, dusty or cause fumes, wouldn’t be suitable in those spaces.
Any use of the studios for sleeping or residential use is strictly forbidden - there are clear health and safety reasons for this. Please see our ‘Affordable Accomodation’ section if you need a place to live.
All our buildings are different in terms of physical accessibility. A number of our sites are accessible, these are P1 Studios, Old Manor Park Library (Ground floor only), IceHouse Court, RAW Studios (Ground floor only), and Lakeside Centre, Thamesmead. These are the sites with studios which are accessible for wheelchair users. However some of our other studios are situated in very old buildings which are unfortunately not viable to be adapted for full accessibility.
After a viewing if you are interested in a studio space you will need to submit a second stage application with some more specific information about your practice, how you will use the studio and how it will benefit your practice. Shortlisted artists, designers and makers will then be asked to attend a brief chat / interview so we can ensure we are making the best allocation for each space.
We will then contact you and arrange time and date for you to come to our office to sign a licence agreement for the studio. We will also take you through the licence agreement and be able to explain it to you, prior to you signing.
You will need to pay a two month deposit at this stage, the initial first month ( or part of month) licence fee, and be asked to set up a direct debit for your future payments. Please be aware you must have a UK bank account and be able to set up a direct debit in order to take a studio. You will be asked to make a card payment for the deposit and inititial payment with us. We will also ask for some ID, passport, drivers licence etc
No, you will need to make the initial payment by card payment. The only method we accept for regular monthly payments is by direct debit. There are no exceptions to this.
We carry out regular, usually weekly, health and safety checks at each of our studio sites. These inform our Fire risk Assessments and general Risk Assessments for each site. The safety of our studio occupants is something we take very seriously and you will be asked to complete a short assessment so we can see that your practice will fit safely into our sites. We will induct you into each site so you are aware of all emergency procedures. Our sites have suffered from very few break-ins over the years. The security of the studios does rely to large extent on our occupants vigilance and cooperation in ensuring doors and windows are securely locked.
We cannot guarantee a period longer than our leases. These vary for each site. We also review annually how every studio is being used as we want to ensure best use is made of our spaces. There is no set maximum time we restrict you to, provided you are complying with the terms of the agreement with us and our annula review is satisfactory.
Under our licence agreement you are required to give two calendar months' notice (this must be from the 1st of the month).
We use licences rather than tenancies for our agreements with artists. This offers both you and us more flexibility and keeps the administration costs down, a saving which we can pass onto you. Under a tenancy you pay rent, under a licence you pay a fee, in return for which we licence you to use a space in the building, under the terms set out in the licence agreement.
The licence fee includes all our management costs, including business rates. It does not usually include electricity or gas heating.There are different arrangements for recharging utilities (electric, gas, internet) at different sites. There will neevr be any hidden costs that we havent told you about and all costs will be made clear at viewings.
- P1 Studios each studio is fitted with electric heaters which are paid for through the individually metered bill.
- Stratford Studios there is gas central communal heating to some studios.
- Rum Factory Studios there are individual electric oil filled radiators supplied to all studios.
- St Katharine Studios there are individual electric heaters fitted into all studios.
- Old Manor Park Library has central heating to most but not all areas
- Leegate Studios have communal central heating
- RAW Studios are heated and air conditioned
- Lakeside Centre Thamesmead studios are communally heated
- all other sites are unheated and you will need to supply your own electric heater
Bow Arts covers public liability insurance for all its studio sites.
Licence holders are responsible for their own contents cover insurance - which we recommed you have to cover equipment and your work. It is an expense you can reclaim as a business cost.
If you employ assistants, or use volunteers or students to assist you in your studio you are responsible for arranging Employers Liability Insurance, and we may ask for evidence of this cover.
We are happy for artists to share spaces to keep costs down. This must be done through by Bow Arts by formal agreement with us though – we do not permit ad-hoc sharing, even for short periods. Let us know when you apply if you wish to share the studio, all artists wishing to share must be registered with us, it helps if you indicate when applying that you want to be together. We can easily add another artist to a new licence agreement at a later date too, so please contact us should your circumstances change and you wish to share (or vice versa).
We don’t allow artists to sublet the studios. If you need to take a break from the space for a fixed period, i.e 6 months, we can try and help you arrange this, but as with sharing, it must be done formally though Bow Arts. We understand the need for flexibility and our licences are designed to accomodate this.
We run an extremely successful and popular Open Studios programme. We support this actively and part of your licence fee contributes towards the marketing and project management of this event. It is a requirement of the licence agreement that each artist must take part in the Open Studios, full participation is a key to its continuing success, and everyone benefits.
We encourage all artists, designers and makers to be active members of the studio community, and assisting in the running and setting up of Open Studios is an excellent way of doing this, and creating opportunities for you.
This extends beyond Open Studios to networking events, peer to peer sessionns, artist led talks, critiques, curated tours and more. We are really keen to hear from our studio occupants on what they'd like to see happen at each site and how ee might support this