Current Size: 100%
Access to affordable workspace is crucial to artists’ careers. In London the high cost of housing makes the financial burden for emerging artists of requiring both living and working space very hard to manage; this can impact on the time they can devote to the creative practice.
We work in partnership with Poplar HARCA to deliver this unique initiative. The LiveWork scheme is designed to offer support to local artists and creative practitioners by enabling them to access affordable space to live and work in. We also promote access to culture within local communities through the scheme.
This ‘guardianship’ style scheme provides affordable homes for artists at zero cost to the social housing landlord or local authority. It also creates significant inward social investment directly into the community from the rental income produced.
This, and the individual community engagement activity delivered by the artists in the flats, really sets our scheme apart from the other more commercially oriented 'property guardian' type schemes.
It is becoming recognised as a really viable way forward for social landlords to deal with some of the problems encountered in regeneration programmes - maintaining community cohesion and saving costs at the same time.
See what Self Help Housing says about the project here
Read about us on the Homes and Communities Agency website here
The scheme has over the past 4 years benefited 100 artists in over 70 flats and is having a visible impact for the community and Poplar HARCA's residents, reducing crime levels, starting local art projects and raising aspirations.
Our ambition is to create a new permanent creative community in the East End of London as an international gateway for culture. Artists have often historically been a significant factor in the regeneration of deprived or undeveloped areas; this scheme aims to involve artists who want to be a part of that process and future.
“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
Our flats are situated in a variety of ex local authority buildings, now managed by Poplar HARCA. The sites range from iconic brutalist tower blocks to smaller low rise buildings with gardens. All the details are on this page here
Apply for the LiveWork Scheme
Bow Arts has been supporting a range of artist studio residency projects in a flat in the iconic Balfron Tower. Promoting high quality artistic practice and engaging local residents in the process has been at the heart of this programme. Read more…
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)