COVID-19: FAQs for Studio Tenants
November 2020

Updated: Tuesday 1 December 2020
(This page is updated regularly, so please check back for the latest news and advice)

In order to minimise the spread of coronavirus SPACE staff are operating remote working. We will respond to emails but some services may be reduced.

The Ilford gallery is temporarily closed and all events at SPACE Ilford and SPACE Colchester are postponed until further notice. 

Book mark this link and check for updates.


Latest news

New National Restrictions from 5 November
Read the latest Government guidelines here

Staying safe in your studio
Following the latest Government Advice on Covid-19 masks must be worn in communal areas of our buildings (this includes lifts, corridors, stairwells, sinks and WCs). Social distancing rules should be adhered to at all times where this is possible and practicable. Please also wear a mask if our maintenance team is working in your studio or you are coming to the Studios Office at Mare Street, which is now open by appointment Wednesday – Friday.

The studio is your workplace and therefore the measures you put in place are your responsibility. The current HSE and Government position can be found here. SPACE continues paying all costs and bills associated with the buildings.

For urgent maintenance issues/emergencies in your building
SPACE staff still plan to visit studio buildings for regular checks. However, we appreciate your eyes and ears on the ground and if you notice anything unusual or that you feel needs to be dealt with urgently, please contact for our London/Ilford buildings and for Colchester.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Extension
HMRC has extended this scheme once again. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. For more information, click here.

Are you taking a mortgage break for my building?
SPACE takes a portfolio approach to studio buildings, we have 21 buildings, 18 on leases and 3 freeholds where we have mortgages. SPACE's policy is to spread the benefit of any relief across the portfolio of buildings for the benefit of all tenants. 

Is SPACE pursuing rent breaks from landlords?
We approached all SPACE's landlords for rent relief. Landlord rent relief received amounted to approx. 2% of our annual rent bill, so this has not been a huge help. Our bank  agreed to defer mortgage capital repayment for 1 year, but we continue paying interest. In the grand scheme of things this help is also insignificant. All other bills still have to be paid, including rates, studio staff, refuse, insurance, WIFI, maintenance etc. across 21 studio sites.

The benefit of any breaks we can achieve will be spread across the portfolio of buildings for all tenants. Withholding rent to our landlords could put your studios at risk and any rents withheld still have to be paid in future.

What is SPACE doing on our behalf?
Making a compelling case for artists through our advocacy work is a key part of our remit as a charity and as London's largest affordable studio provider. The CEO, Anna Harding, has been busy liaising with the Greater London Authority and Arts Council England to ensure funding agencies fully understand the challenges faced by our tenants and by SPACE as a charity supporting nearly 900 artists by providing affordable workspace. 

Emergency relief funds
We are relieved that SPACE was awarded funds from the Arts Council England and Greater London Authority, Emergency Funds and Arts Council England Culture Recovery  Fund recognising the challenges faced by artists and studio organisations. We have targeted this at rent relief, hardship funds and to replace reserves spent on cancelling annual rent increases and three months’ rent relief, to partition studios where tenants downsize and to develop our tenant support offer SPACE Advice Bureau.  Further funds will help SPACE develop support for artists with under 10 years of professional practice, online programme and to make plans to reopen SPACE Ilford.

What if we can't pay our rent?
If you are struggling to pay your rent please talk to the studios team.

UK Government measures: 

For a full list of Government support available click here

Universal Credit for the self-employed 
Available at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay and will cover 30% of house rental costs. Click here for more information.

If you are VAT registered
If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer payment until 31 March 2021. Check if you are eligible to defer your VAT payment

Income Tax
For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. 

Health and safety
The safety of our artists and staff are our priority. We urge you to maintain Government advice on social distancing and self-isolation where necessary. In our studio buildings we each have a personal responsibility for our safety at this time and to show consideration for fellow tenants who may be in the high-risk bracket.

Remember Public Health England advice: by ensuring you always wash your hands for 20 seconds, catch all coughs and sneezes in a tissue and bin them, and most importantly be considerate of those around us, we will all help to keep each other protected.


How to contact the Studios Team
We are currently dealing with a high volume of queries. Please bear with us – we are doing everything we can to respond as quickly as possible. In the first instance, please contact us at one of the email addresses listed below. Please put  the nature of your query into the subject header.

Your Studios Team
For Covid-19 related enquiries, please contact the General Studios email so we can find the best staff member to respond. 

For all other enquiries continue to contact
Studios Director Fiona Furness,
Assistant Studios Manager Gavin Ramsey,
Studios Assistant Frances Copeman,