The future of troubled venue Artsdepot has been secured, after it entered into a long-term partnership with dance school London Studio Centre.
From September this year, London Studio Centre will make the Barnet-based arts centre its fixed home, having initially used Artsdepot on a temporary basis for the 2012/13 academic year. It began using the venue when the lease on its own premises in Islington came to an end and the site was redeveloped into residential properties and offices.
Artsdepot, which lost its annual funding of £194,000 from Barnet Council in 2011, said the partnership – along with a restructure of the company that focused on reducing costs – means it can continue to operate a full programme of dance, music and drama.
Tracy Cooper, the venue’s chief executive, said: “Artsdepot has been on an incredible journey since opening in 2004. We’ve weathered the removal of local authority support, almost faced closure and worked hard to turn the business around when this opportunity arose. Now with our innovative new business model we can ensure we thrive, not just survive, and can say with some certainty that Artsdepot will be here for years to come.”
In 2012/13, about 200 first and second-year students from London Studio Centre used Artsdepot for rehearsals, lectures and performances.
From September, this will increase to more than 300.
London Studio Centre had initially intended to move into new premises in west London, but its director, Nic Espinosa, said it had decided to make Artsdepot its permanent home because of the “fantastic performing opportunities it provides”.
“We were immediately struck by all that the venue has to offer in terms of training and performance. Our partnership with Artsdepot provides additional opportunities for the substantial development for LSC in the longer term, in a unique performing arts environment,” he added.
Artsdepot, which will continue to operate a full programme while the school uses its premises, marks its tenth anniversary next year