Artists’ studios and workspace

Acme Studios 
London-based studio provider and developer. Acme is the leading agency for the development of the affordable artists’ studio sector in England and provides a free nationwide advisory service to artists and others.

Creative Space Agency 
London-based agency linking owners of vacant property with creative professionals looking for potential spaces in London in which to work, exhibit, perform or rehearse.

London Artists Studio Finder This website is a free resource designed to be a one-stop shop for finding artists’ studios across London. All listed studios are run by recognised and established providers. Supported by Bow Arts Trust.

Artists’ resources

a-n The Artists Information Company  
Leading UK agency for supporting contemporary visual arts practice. Provides the AIR membership scheme attached to an Artist subscription for practising  visual and applied artists alongside publishing research and critical writing around contexts and working relationships within the visual arts. 

Artquest  The advice and information service for London-based visual artists and craftspeople.

A national online resource for information about contemporary art and artists. Includes a directory of artists and curators which features over 2500 profiles with images, audio, video, biographies, statements and an events listing.

London’s Artist Quarter  Site for promoting artists, venues and arts initiatives in East London. Use it to promote your own work or to find out more about what’s happening in the area. Supported by Bow Arts Trust.

Arts umbrella bodies and networks

Arts Research Digest 
An information resource for arts managers, arts practitioners, policy makers, consultants, funders and researcher. Arts Research Digest is now exclusively online, offers six issues a year by subscription and is also home to Arts Council England’s electronic research archives.

Audiences UK Audiences UK is the national network of Audience Development Agencies, organisations that specialise in understanding how to engage and develop audiences. Twelve core member agencies work collaboratively to develop and deliver programmes and services based on the needs of their regions.|

Black Arts Alliance 
 Now called the New Black Arts Alliance, nbaa is a company of artists working collectively to profile the broad diversity of Black arts and culture.

Campaign for Drawing 
The organisation leading a national campaign to get everyone drawing. Its annual showpiece is The Big Draw event which takes place in October each year and involves venues from galleries and schools to community and shopping centres hosting drawing activities.

Contemporary Visual Arts Network CVAN (formerly Turning Point Network) is a consortium of 11 coordinated regional groups of contemporary visual arts professionals across the nine English regions.

Cultural Leadership Programme
 CLP is a Government-funded investment in excellence in leadership across the creative and cultural sectors. It delivers and commissions a wide-ranging suite of leadership development provision. Delivery partners are Arts Council England, Creative and Cultural Skills and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

Diversity Arts Forum Formerly known as AAvAA - the African and Asian Visual Arts Archive – was renamed Diversity Arts Forum in 2005. Housed by the University of East London, the archive houses over 6,000 slides of artworks and exhibitions, as well as publications and videos about and by artists and is a unique national resource with a remit to document and raise awareness about the work of contemporary African and Asian artists working in the United Kingdom since the post-war period.

An international membership association representing gallery, art and education professionals in the UK and in 15 countries worldwide. engage runs an annual conference, professional development activities and pilot projects, and produces practical toolkits.

The national public art think tank – it provides guidance on the role of art in the public realm. ixia carries out research, supports events and delivers training commissions new writing and publications.

National Campaign for the Arts 
The UK's only independent lobbying organisation representing all the arts, the NCA undertakes research on a range of issues affecting the arts sector and produces relevant briefings and responses to government papers, which are made available to its members.

NSEAD National Society for Education in Art & Design  
Membership organisation for those who teach craft or design in primary or secondary schools, or in further or higher education. It also has information for gallery educators, artists in residence, parents and all those with an interest in arts education.

Open Studios Network
 The Open Studios Network promotes and supports open studios events in England. The website features a calendar of open studios events around the country.

The country’s leading disability-led arts organisation working to improve access to culture for disabled people. Shape develops opportunities for disabled artists and trains cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people. Also runs the annual Adam Reynolds bursary.

South West Open Studios
 South West Open Studios (SWOS) promotes the development and sustainability of artists' Open Studio and Art Trail organisations in the South West. Site includes information and an event calendar.

Turning Points Network Arts Council England is working with a range of partners to establish the Turning Point Network, a national network of regional visual arts groups made up of individual artists, independents, and organisations.

VAGA - The Visual Arts and Galleries Association 
 VAGA is a leading independent body and UK-wide professional network promoting the visual arts and representing the interests of organisations and individuals working in all aspects of their presentation and development.

VAN - Voluntary Arts Network 
 Voluntary Arts Network is the national development agency for arts participation. The website holds a library of information sheets on all aspects of managing the arts, from taxation to marketing, to fundraising. (See ‘VAN Briefings’ section). Voluntary Arts England:

 An alliance of UK umbrella and representative bodies, who have come together to create an effective voice for the visual arts. Members are: ArtQuest, AIR, The Crafts Council, VAGA, The Contemporary Art Society, Axis, NFASP, a-n The Artists Information Company, 
engage, International Curators Forum.

Visiting Arts
National agency that promotes and facilitates the inward flow of foreign arts into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Free monthly e-newsletter, plus information and advice. Visiting Arts is now the official UK Cultural Contact Point for the European Commission’s Culture Programme.


Arts Council England 
 The national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from Government and the National Lottery. Grants for the arts is the main open application funding programme, which is for individuals, arts organisations and other people who use the arts in their work.

Funding Central
  Government funded website, managed by NCVO, providing information on over 4,000 grants, contracts and loans. Includes a search facility for sources of funding and advice and case studies.

 The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts exists to find the most effective ways of encouraging talent and innovation for national benefit. It does this through various programmes, creating models and initiatives and by funding and supporting innovative, early-stage businesses.

National, regional and local government
Department for Communities and Local Government 
DCLG is responsible for government policy on communities and neighbourhoods, equalities, local government and planning, building and the environment.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The National Association of Local Government Arts Officers which has over 400 members. Holds an annual autumn conference.

Organisational development & finance

Arts & Business  Arts & Business brings together businesses and arts organisations to create partnerships to benefit themselves and the community at large. There are 12 regional offices and each region runs A&B programmes and services, to bring together the arts and business communities locally. Services include a Board Bank and board development programme.

Business Link 
 Business advice service with regional offices and extensive on-line resources, especially for those starting a business.

Charity Commission 
 The regulator and registrar for charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission provides advice to charities and publishes an extensive range of resources on its website, including operational guidance.

 CIDA - the Cultural Industries Development Agency - is a London-based specialist support organisation for the creative and cultural sector offering services to individuals, new and existing businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Community Interest Companies (CICs)  
The regulator of CICs which are a new type of limited company designed specifically for those wishing to operate for the benefit of the community rather than for the benefit of the owners of the company.
Companies House 
The Registrar of Companies for England and Wales.

Co-operatives UK 
The central membership organisation for co-operative enterprise throughout the UK, it works to promote the interests of co-operatives and supports the growth and development of new and existing co-operatives.

Futurebuilders England 
A unique government-backed fund offering support and investment to third sector organisations to deliver public services, Futurebuilders offers a combination of loans, grants and professional support to build the capacity of third sector organisations who want to deliver better public services.

Governance Hub 
 The Governance Hub is a collaborative body that provides support for good governance in the voluntary and community sector in England.

 The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is the largest umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in England. NCVO is a campaigning organisation and a best practice resource, producing books, reports, toolkits and an extensive range of succinct briefing papers for the voluntary sector.

Planning and regeneration

Architecture Centre Network
  The national development and advocacy organisation for 22 independent architecture centres in the UK, Promotes engagement with architecture and the built environment.


Department of Communities and Local Government

Living Places A joint agency programme which encourages culture and sport opportunities in all communities, particularly those experiencing housing-led growth and regeneration. They have a Culture and Sport Planning Toolkit.

Planning Advisory Service
 Provides consultancy and peer support, learning events and online resources to improve local government planning.

Planning Aid  Planning Aid provides free, independent and professional help, advice and support on planning issues to people and communities who cannot afford to hire a planning consultant.

Planning Portal The UK government's on-line planning and building regulations resource. Use the site to learn about planning and building regulations, apply for planning permission and building regulations consent, find out about developments near you, appeal against a decision and research government policy.

Royal Town Planning Institute  
Information about the British institute and the planning profession, with details on publications, awards and policy.

  Urban knowledge sharing network with up-to-date material on all aspects of urban development.

Town and Country Planning Association  
A think-tank that campaigns for the reform of the UK’s planning system to make it more responsive to people’s needs.

Professional development - arts and cultural sector

APD – Artists Professional Development Network  
A UK-wide intelligence and exchange forum for organisations providing information, advice, training and professional development services for visual and applied artists. In July 2010, a-n The Artists Information Company took over administration of the website and membership.

Creative and Cultural Skills  
The sector skills council for the creative and cultural industries – craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing and visual arts.

Creative People 
 A national network providing information, advice and guidance on professional development in the arts and crafts.

Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO)
  Scotland’s specialist business support and development service for creative businesses and practitioners.

Culture Works
Provides information and opportunities for training and professional development in the cultural sector in the North East of England.

Health and safety

Asbestos management

Electrical Contractors Association [ECA]

National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting [NICEIC]

Fire safety and fire risk assessments
Fire safety is dealt with not by the HSE but by Communities and Local Government. There is information on their website, and publications to buy or download for free.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  This is an excellent resource and the best place to start with any health and safety enquiry. There are case studies, template forms and clear simple guidance.

Health and safety policy

Risk assessments