Acme Studios, Leven Road


Project Description

Aims and Objectives

For Acme Studios, the aim was to provide affordable workspace to meet unmet local demand.

For Swan Housing Association, the aim was to secure planning permission for the redevelopment by satisfying local planning requirements for the site. The main priority for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets was job creation, and so this was a key issue for the project. No job losses were allowed with the redevelopment of the site, which originally accommodated 14 employees.

Project Start Date and End Date

The development was granted planning permission in September 2007, and the whole project was completed in March 2009.

Services Offered

Success Factors 

  • Because the work space offered is affordable, all of the studio units have 100% occupancy rate from day one, and can expect continued full occupancy as there is a long waiting list for Acme studio space. The development is helping meet the demand for affordable workspace in London, whilst ensuring there are no vacant lots, which can contribute to the degradation of the quality of the vicinity.
  • Continuing the success of the Leven Road studios, Acme is working in partnership with other local authorities and social housing providers on the development of two more schemes.

Risk Factors

For Acme, risks included:

  • Increasing construction costs were mitigated by negotiating fixed costs from fixed design specifications for its studios.
  • Occupancy rates which can have an impact on the ability to maintain rent level mitigated due to high local demand.

For Swan, risks included:

  • Delays or refusal of planning permissions prevented by meeting local planning requirements for affordable housing, employment and commercial workspaces
  • Increasing construction costs of the affordable housing units
  • Uncertainty over commercial rents were reduced by guaranteed occupancy of the studio units due to high local demand

Business/Operational Model

Financing and Delivery/Procurement

Measurement and Monitoring

  • Continuing level of studio occupation


Contact details

Jack Fortescue
Communications Officer
Acme Studios
Tel: 0208 981 6811