08/09/2023 • Partnerships

Bow Arts Trust celebrates fully leased affordable workspace

Bow Arts Trust has welcomed the first local artists to its 70 new, affordable creative studios at the Three Waters development in Bromley-by-Bow, East London. With the studios already fully leased by local artists, including puppeteer Charlie Tymms, the 26,000 sq ft facility also provides community space for education and engagement with the arts. The launch of the space is a significant milestone for Bow Arts Trust, as its first permanent location in its nearly 30-year history. It ensures affordable workspace is available for Tower Hamlets’ young, diverse and creative community in perpetuity. Comic illustrators, sculptors, set designers, photographers, painters, installation artists, film and television artists, puppeteers and fashion brands are some of the makers that have already moved into the vibrant community.

In partnership with London developer Mount Anvil and housing association Peabody, Bow Arts has taken a 999-year lease for all the commercial space on the ground floor and mezzanine level of the 327-home development. It will bring world-class artists to the area, continuing their vision of making creative activity sustainable, and creating opportunities to work, learn and enjoy the arts in Bow and across London.

The partnership has been a key part of Mount Anvil and Peabody’s commitment to placemaking at Three Waters to create a thriving hub for those who live and work there, and follows Mount Anvil and Peabody’s strategy to partner with organisations that generate social value for residents. Located at Bow Lock where the three waters of Bow Creek, the River Lea and Limehouse Cut meet, Three Waters provides 327 homes in a mixture of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. 

Bow Arts, Mount Anvil and Peabody will celebrate the opening of the space on Thursday 28 September with an Open Studio evening for the public where people can meet the artists, enjoy food and music, and take part in family-friendly workshops. The event will run from 6pm to 9pm at Bow Arts studios, 20 Gillender St, Aberfeldy Village, London E3 3JX.

Marcel Batteig, CEO of Bow Arts said:

“Creativity and culture are what make London a world capital. We are so proud to be able to support the thousands of creative people that contribute to this fact. We are only able to achieve what we do by working with some truly inspiring and committed partners, such as Mount Anvil, with who’s support we are able to offer some of the most affordable, beautiful and inspiring places for creative people to work.

Three Waters Studios is a landmark for Bow Arts as it is our first permanent building. Put simply, Bow Arts is a charity that is committed to affordability – and to managing property well – which means we are able to commit 100% of our surplus revenues generated by our buildings into high quality cultural and educational services for local communities. Three Waters Studios guarantees this community investment in perpetuity for east London.”

Marcus Bate, Partnerships and Communities Director at Mount Anvil, said:

“We are immensely proud to support our partners at Bow Arts Trust with this space at Three Waters in Tower Hamlets. They have done incredible work in East London for the past three decades, and now they have a stable base to continue that forever. During a cost-of-living crisis, the provision of affordable workspaces and affordable homes has never been more important in London. Three Waters is a testament to the fact that it’s possible to deliver both if you have the ambition and commitment - working with like-minded organisations who really care about supporting a vibrant, diverse and affordable London.”

James McMylor, Regional Managing Director of Development, Peabody said:  

“We’re always keen to support the creative industry, and these affordable studios will give local artists a home in which to flourish while continuing to bring much-valued arts and culture to the community. We’ve already seen what can be achieved by our partnership with Bow Arts and the community at the Lakeside Centre in Thamesmead, which has brought a new creative community to the town, and Three Waters is proving to be another success story. Sustainable placemaking is in our DNA, and this fantastic new space at Three Waters is another example of our commitment to going beyond the bricks and mortar of what we build to deliver truly vibrant communities.”

Councillor Abdul Wahid, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Growth at Tower Hamlets Council said:
“Tower Hamlets has a rich and vibrant history of business start-ups. Unfortunately, increasing rents for workspace have become a powerful barrier and disincentive for new and existing entrepreneurs. Accordingly, it’s great to see this vital new affordable workspace coming online. Initiatives like this make an important contribution to making Tower Hamlets a great place to live, work and play. I welcome the investment that Peabody and Mount Anvil are making in the area and look forward to seeing the benefits being felt by our residents now the space is up and running.”