Working with landlords and developers

Artists and developers often come from different worlds, with creativity and commerciality sometimes at opposite ends of the scale, which can lead to tensions.

"For developers, ultimately it's about bottom lines and profit margins," says Doug Francis from Artspace Lifespace. "At first the developer, Urban Splash, couldn't get their head around the fact that we didn't want to make a vast profit from the project at Bridewell Island. The rent we now pay on this building has gone up incrementally over the three years we've been here - it's now £1,000 per month. That's what developers relate to but they also see the value of contributing to the community."

For some artists, choosing to work with commercially-minded developers can provide a moral dilemma. For the Artspace Lifespace team, Urban Splash is a large national company with a reputation for being sustainable.

"It's potentially a very difficult issue to deal with," says Doug Francis. "We were looking at another site owned by another developer who are not green and less community friendly and it was a hard position to be in. In the end they got cold feet because these projects are just not what they do.  But dealing with developers is definitely one of the great dichotomies of this activity."