The leading London arts organisation Second Floor Studios & Arts (SFSA) has announced a deal to provide affordable studio space for visual and fine artists, craft and designer makers in Wembley Park.
SFSA, who were established in 1997, will take over and run 6,300 sq ft of collective affordable studio space – the first of its kind in Wembley Park. The deal has been delivered through a partnership with Quintain, the developers behind the Wembley Park regeneration, and supported by Brent Council, who are providing grant funding for the fit-out of the studios through the GLA’s New Homes Bonus funding programme. It will see 26 new high quality studios offered, providing long term affordable employment space for artists, makers and designers. SFSA will use one studio as an office initially and the first studios will be rented out and occupied from November 2017.
Wembley Park is fast becoming a hub for creativity and culture and last month announced Boxpark Wembley will be adding to this offer in 2018 with 29 independent food and beverage units and a 2,000 capacity events space. Already home to two of the world’s best known venues for music, entertainment and sport, Wembley Park is now keen to focus on developing a wider cultural presence across the 85 acre site and becoming a cultural hot spot in London.
This deal marks the first venture for SFSA in North West London and aims to tackle the shortage of space available to the arts community at affordable rates, in well managed facilities and marks a major investment in the arts for Brent and the capital. Tenants of former SFSA schemes have gone on to exhibit in major galleries and museums across London and the world, including the Tate and National Portrait Gallery, as well as be part of London Fashion Week and other major arts events.
As well as providing affordable studios Second Floor will also be delivering a range of educational and outreach programmes, including workshops and exhibitions, providing long-term partnerships and opportunities for the local community. This includes the time bank system where in exchange for the lower rents artists are being charged, they set aside one hour a month of their time which is then given to the community. More details on this will be announced early next year when further studios are released across Wembley Park.
The new studios will be located on the ground floor of some of the new homes being built in Wembley Park which is seeing the fastest housing delivery of any site in the UK. There will be 3,000 homes under construction by the end of this year and in total planning permission has already been secured for 7,000 homes, of which a third will be affordable.
Applications for the studio space have now opened and residents, artists, makers and designers are being encouraged to submit their application to SFSA for the chance to become part of the growing community at Wembley Park.
Speaking about the move to Wembley Park, Nichole Herbert Wood, Second Floor Studios & Arts, said:
“Second Floor Studios & Arts are committed to finding locations with high quality space for our studio members, and we’re delighted to have a new project at Wembley Park, one of London’s newest up and coming areas. We are very much looking forward to establishing a creative community that supports and inspires both the studio members and the wider local residents. These spaces mark the start of a wider roll-out of opportunities and projects in Wembley Park, and we are really looking forward to getting started”.
Speaking about the partnership, James Saunders, Chief Operating Officer of Quintain (delivering Wembley Park), said:
“We are excited to welcome Second Floor Studios & Arts to Wembley Park and can’t wait to see what the artists and makers that will occupy the space will be producing here. Wembley Park is fast becoming a location of choice for businesses big and small and we’re looking forward to reaching out to the creative sector to add to this mix. Wembley Park is alive with activity – we have just announced Boxpark Wembley and with regular on site events, the Yellow Pavilion with over 40 community activities on offer each week as well as frequent busking and London Designer Outlet, it is a very attractive area for artists looking for both inspiration and space.”
Councillor Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills at Brent Council, said:
“Brent Council is excited to be working with Second Floor Studios & Arts and Quintain to deliver affordable studio space in Wembley Park. There is significant demand for artist space across London and the Council is delighted to be able to fund the fit-out of the studios, helping to provide a long term, affordable home for a range of creative entrepreneurs. The studios will support small businesses, contribute to the local economy and add vibrancy to the area. We look forward to continued partnership working with Second Floor Studios & Arts and Quintain.”
The self-contained studios, purpose built for individuals and groups of practitioners are due to open as soon as November 2017. The studios will range in cost (depending on size), with the most intimate space set at 90sq ft all the way up to the biggest unit at 335sq ft.
Applications are now being accepted and studios are being allocated and deposited. Priority will be given to those living and working in Brent. Please email expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online enquiry form https://www.secondfloor.co.uk/studios/default.html.