About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Who are we investing in?

Second Floor Studio and Arts provides high-quality, affordable studios and facilities for visual and fine artists, crafts makers and designers, an increasingly scarce resource in London.

In addition to leasing workspace, Second Floor Studios & Arts operates as a membership organisation providing commercial opportunities for its members to help them sell their art, organising monthly industry-led talks on relevant topics and holding social events for artists to expand their networks. It also runs a public programme for people from the local community where they can learn about different art forms and develop new creative skills.

What are we investing in?

Second Floor Studios & Arts is using an unsecured loan of £280,000 from the Arts Impact Fund to purchase and develop a new site, the Deptford Foundry.

Having a long-term lease means that Second Floor Studios & Arts can provide much needed security for artists, who are often driven out of the inner city due to unaffordable rent increases. A sobering estimate from a recent survey by GLA in 2014 suggests over 30 per cent of London’s studio spaces will disappear within five years, causing a supply crisis in a market with growing demand.

The site is critical to the establishment of a sustainable, autonomous business model for Second Floor Studios & Arts and will be an opportunity for the organisation to reevaluate the way it engages with local communities and continue its commitment to an inclusive practice.

Read the full case study on Second Floor Studio and Arts on the Arts Impact Fund website.