Acme Studios — Work/Live FAQ

Supporting Artists since 1972

FAQs for the 2-year work/live vacancy at High House, 2022-24.

If you can’t find something, or have further queries please get in touch.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any UK-based fine artist. E.g. painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making, fine art photography, installation, performance, multi-media, video and time-based work, socially engaged or participatory practice. Not design, fashion, music or commercial photography.

What do you mean by UK-based?

You are a resident in the United Kingdom.

What is the selection criteria?

Acme will be assessing applications in relation to the applicants current financial need; current housing need; current studio need and the strength of the personal statement as to how the work/live studio would improve the circumstances of the artist and support their practice.

Can I view the studio before applying?

Yes, and we strongly recommend you attend a viewing, research the local area and try out the transport connections before deciding if you would like to make an application. Viewings will take place on Friday 6 May and Saturday 7 May 2022. Please book a timeslot to attend by emailing

I am co-habiting / living with dependants. Can I apply?

Yes, however we strongly advise that you book to view the work/live studio before applying as you will need to decide whether the space will be adequate for your needs.

Both myself and my partner (whom I live with) are artists, how should we apply?

Please make an application each so you can detail your independent circumstances and needs. There is a box in the application form to state you intend to share the work/live studio. We will then consider your applications jointly.

My income varies as I'm self-employed, what should I put down as my annual income?

Put the actual figure for the last twelve months and, if you think it might be helpful for those shortlisting, you can give further details about your financial circumstances in the box provided on the form. For instance, if your income is particularly low, lower than your average, you can explain further here. Or if it is below the annual income needed to pay the rent, it would be useful to explain how you intend to afford the studio.

Can Acme support visa applications to remain for the five years of the programme?

No, unfortunately we are unable to support visa applications.

Why do you allocate by need/hardship firstly and not by quality of work?

It is a core aspect of Acme’s ethos that we are democratic and non-subjective. This means we are open to supporting all fine artists in financial need who can demonstrate a professional practice. This has been our approach since Acme’s formation in 1972. It continues with the allocation process of our studio spaces for which we operate a waiting list open to anyone who can demonstrate they are a non-commercial fine artist.

We are including an assessment of the applicant’s body of work once they are shortlisted to interview to allow the panel to make final decisions where we anticipate greater demand for the studios than we can accommodate.

How much deposit do I need to pay?

One month's rent.

Are there any extra fees or costs I may not have considered?

On top of your monthly rent, you will be required to pay electricity and council tax. You may also choose to pay for contents insurance and a television licence. The studios are not furnished so you may need to budget for furniture. There are no administration fees.

How much is the council tax?

The studios are in valuation band A which is £1,156.74 per year (2022/23.) Single occupants would normally be entitled to a 25 per cent reduction to this.

Artists on Income Support will normally pay no Council Tax and others on low incomes will have their bills reduced and may be eligible for Housing Benefit.

Do I have to live in it?

Yes, applicants with a demonstrated need for combined work/live space will be prioritised and therefore it is the expectation of Acme that the studio will be the address of the artist tenant.

Is the studio furnished?

No. The work/live studios are unfurnished.

What facilities are included?

The kitchens are supplied with a hob, fridge, freezer and mini oven. The bathrooms include a shower. There is a shared laundry with a washing machine and tumble dryer. The work/live studios use electricity as the energy source including for heating and hot water; there is no gas supply to the building. There is fibre optic wi-fi throughout the building.

Can I bring my pet?

Unfortunately we cannot have pets in the studios.

I am a sound artist, can I apply?

Yes, however the studios are not soundproofed so you would need to use headphones when working.

I have a noisy practice and use power tools when working, can I apply?

All tenants at the building have the right to ‘Quiet Enjoyment’ of their premises. If your practice is likely to cause disturbance or disruption to other tenants, then we would ask you take precautions to prevent this. This could mean using an alternative workshop for noisy work, headphones for music, or limits on the hours you work. If you think this will hinder your working practice, we do not recommend you apply.

What outcomes do I need to deliver during the course of the programme?

There are no defined outcomes other than the commitment to further your practice.

Will I be required to open my unit up for events or Acme visitors during the course of the programme?

No. The only visits to your unit will be if essential repairs are required and we will always contact you first.

Occasionally Acme may have visitors we would like to show around the units to further our goal of creating more work/live studios in the future. In this case we would always seek your permission first: these visits would never be obligatory.

What is the allocation process?

Submit an application before midnight, Sunday 22nd May 2022. Shortlisted artists will be invited for an informal interview on Thursday 9 June 2022. Occupation of the studio will begin July/August 2022 for 2 years, exact start date dependent on the individual's circumstances.

To apply
Complete the application form here: the deadline is midnight Sunday 22 May 2022.

The form will ask for information about your current housing and studio circumstances and details of your financial need. This will need to be completed along with a C.V.

Shortlisted artists will be invited for an interview after all applications have been reviewed.