All change by the river as Second Floor Arts becomes Thames-Side Studios

Second Floor Arts open studios

Second Floor Studios & Arts, the thriving art community on the Charlton/Woolwich border, is now operating under a new identity, with its two directors moving onto a new project in Deptford.

Since opening in 2010, Second Floor has grown to become London’s largest affordable studio space project for artists and makers, with 450 members. Its twice-yearly Open Studios weekends are a highlight of the local calendar.

Now the Warspite Road outfit has been renamed Thames-Side Studios after directors Matthew Wood and Nichole Herbert Wood took out a lease on 75 new studios in the under-construction Deptford Foundry development in Arklow Road, close to the railway junction between Deptford and New Cross stations. The Second Floor name is moving with them, along with the No Format gallery name.

Thames-Side Studios is now in the hands of the building’s freeholder, which says on its website it is “committed to the continuing provision” of spaces for artists. With work on extending the Thames Path past the studios’ front door due to be completed by spring 2017, there’s potential for the site to get even more popular- particularly if the Open Studios weekends continue.

While the whole riverside area is scheduled for redevelopment in the coming years, Greenwich Council has signalled that it wants to see the buildings kept and used by creative industries.

While they’ll still be based reasonably locally, the Second Floor team will be a hard act to follow. With grandiose plans under way for a “creative quarter” in the Royal Arsenal development, their departure across the Lewisham border is a big loss to Greenwich borough as a whole.

5 thoughts on “All change by the river as Second Floor Arts becomes Thames-Side Studios

  1. fahy June 22, 2016 / 09:11

    Sad to hear of changes at Second Floor Studios. Matthew and Nicola have done a fantastic job. Worrying times with the Charlton Riverside Masterplan under consideration. Important to secure this fantastic space and activities in any new development. Will rent levels increase which may result in forcing out this wonderful creative activity. Needs to be closely watched.

    • Roden June 29, 2016 / 14:49

      We at the Charlton Society are also worried. Deptford is beginning to acquire a Hoxton-like aura, so it is understandable Matthew and Nicola should want the Second Floor name to move there. If the owner of Thames-Side Studios doesn’t do anything silly with her prices, then maybe there’s a future for them. However, the development pressures on Charlton Riverside are unlikely to diminish..

  2. Howard July 4, 2016 / 13:18

    My name is Howard and I am the freeholder and owner of the art community at Melluish. If ever you want a chat to gain any information about the art centre and its future then you have my e-mail below


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