Rebecca Wayman

Creative studio acquires two permanent sites with £3.3m NatWest funding

Art organisation, Artists Studio Company (ASC) has launched two new spaces for the creative community after securing £3.3m of funding from NatWest.

The business has used the multi-million pound funding facility from NatWest to purchase and refurbish its first permanent sites, The ART House in Croydon’s Grafton Quarter and a second site on Ealing Road in Alperton.

ASC supports local artists by providing access to affordable workspaces, exhibition spaces and training. It currently manages more than 90,000 sq ft of space across six rented sites around London offering low cost work space to 560 tenants.

The 32,000 sq ft ART House provides affordable workspace for over 100 artists in Croydon and surrounding areas and has a public gallery to display resident artists’ work.

In North London, the 10,000 sq ft Alperton site has studio space for 30 artists and designers and offers residents free business support and training as part of their lease.

Chief executive, Peter Flack founded ASC in 1995 when, as a practising artist himself, he recognised the need for studio space in South London.

He said: “Previously all our buildings were held under short leaseholds and the creative communities we fostered ended when these leases expired.

“Thanks to the funding from NatWest, we have been able to acquire two permanent buildings meaning we no longer need to worry about leases ending and can instead focus our energies on helping new creatives to flourish.”

Over the last 23 years, the charity has rented and managed 20 sites and provided studio and exhibition space for thousands of artists.

With both the Croydon and Alperton sites expected to be fully occupied by January, Peter plans to look for further permanent premises in the capital to help London retain its creative people and cultural status.

Matt Davis, CEO and owner at Empire Commercial Finance introduced Peter to Graham Chaston, business development director at NatWest and the deal was supported by Vasha Mehta, senior relationship manager at NatWest.

Graham added: “NatWest worked closely with Peter on his proposal, taking advantage of the planning gain agreements, which enabled us to fund 100 per cent of the purchase price of the two new buildings.

“We look forward to continuing to support the charity through further growth.”

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