From our rural base we provoke questions, encourage discussion and stimulate positive advances in art practice

home about us news artists previous projects residencies education observatory accommodation location contact

Image Alan Smith: The Lanscape Quartet 2014

Our self-funded residencies are open to creative practitioners working in all media including writers and musicians. Individuals and groups can immerse themselves in a stimulating, expansive and striking environment, to explore possibilities and practices within a new context.

Whether you need to research or produce, ACA can provide a supportive environment, for creative practitioners from all disciplines. There is also potential to network with individuals, arts organisations and institutions that have links with ACA.

Your visit can be totally self-steered or you may wish to create a programme that would be informed by a wide range of expertise provided by the host organisation.

ACA welcomes enquiries for single person or group bookings from all levels of experience. We have a long history of working with students and academics from foundation level right through to PhD. These residential periods can be independently organised or directed through your educational institution.


ACA offers two accommodation options:

We have a number of versatile spaces where artists can work:

Other resources include:

 Accommodation fees (per person per week):

Single bedroom - £175

Twin or double room - £130

Studio Apartment with separate bathroom - £200

Prices can be negotiated for group bookings and long-term residencies. Please contact us for further details.

Expenses paid by artist

ACA will provide accommodation, studio space and weekly tutorials/guidance if required.

Presentations, exhibitions, workshops and open studio events can sometimes be arranged depending on the wishes of the artist and availability of venue.


Apply by email to This programme runs with rolling deadlines

Please include:

Quotes from previous visitors

“It would be hard to find a place more rural and remote, yet on the inside it has the feel of a New York studio loft.”  Elaine Williams, The Guardian.

“We came here for a creative working retreat and wanted to escape the distractions of our usual working environment. This was the perfect location for a productive period of time in stunning surroundings.  The accommodation was amazing too!”  Carlo and Nick from Empty Shop, Gateshead.

“We had an amazing time, relaxing and working very hard in the studio.  This is the perfect environment for being creative.” Penny, Matt Stalker and Fables

ACA is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing creative spaces and opportunities for artists and writers.

Click here to view previous self directed residencies

NEWS! - An observatory has been built at

The Old Schoolhouse Allenheads

Stargazing holidays and artists’ residencies

 From November 2016 a new Community-owned observatory in the dark heart of the North Pennines  Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be available to our guests at Allenheads  Contemporary Arts

Go to our observatory page for more information

Contact us for prices and availability  +44 7966257276 +44 1434 685040

Self Funded Residencies