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ACME LAUNCH MAJOR FUNDRAISING APPEAL TO SECURE DEPTFORD PROPELLER FACTORY

Acme has launched a major fundraising campaign to secure its future. The lease on the Acme Propeller Factory, the largest remaining long-term artist studio building of its kind in London, ends in December 2025, and Acme must raise £4-5 million to purchase the property and continue providing affordable studio space to artists.


Photography courtesy of Acme


Located at 165 Childers Street, Deptford, the 1920s former ship propeller foundry has been home to artists since 1990. The building spans 70,492 square feet and houses 135 studios for 180 artists. Acme Propeller Factory is the UK’s largest building solely dedicated to artist studios, offering vital support to London’s creative community. They have supported artists in need since 1972, providing thousands with affordable studios, work/live spaces, residencies, and awards. Acme is the largest provider of permanent affordable artist studios in England, supporting over 800 artists across 15 buildings in Greater London each year.


"There is a lot of redevelopment happening in Deptford and many studios are going to be lost, so holding onto creative places is a must for the future," said artist David Micheaud. Acme’s plans for the site include conserving the building’s heritage, reducing its environmental impact, and transforming it into a hub for cultural programming and community engagement.

Ambassador Sir Grayson Perry, Mark Firth and Rain discussing the importance of the building. Image via ITV.


The building’s industrial nature supports large-scale artistic practices, making it unique within Zone 2. Sir Grayson Perry, former Acme artist tenant and ambassador for the campaign, highlighted the importance of affordable studio spaces: "I was fortunate to be a young artist in London at the same time as Acme studios. Acme played a very important part in British art history by providing those studios across the city."


Acme is transforming part of the building into a publicly accessible home for its archive and a flexible event space. This initiative will invite communities to engage with the history and work of the artists, providing activities and affordable resources for the local area and the wider public.


For more information or to contribute to the campaign, please visit the Acme Propeller Factory Campaign.


 

Emma Lee is a London-based arts news journalist. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The Art Newspaper and the Financial Times specialising in art market analysis.

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