Toynbee Studios

Solar panels at Toynbee Studios

Artsadmin logoArtsadmin has taken a major step in reducing its environmental impact with the installation of 40 solar panels on the roof of Toynbee Studios.

Toynbee Studios is Artsadmin’s hub for artistic innovation and development. The studios are home to the organisation’s own staff of 25 and to Artsadmin’s artistic programme, as well as providing office space for over 20 other artists and arts organisations. Fully refurbished in 2007, the theatre and five rehearsal spaces are used by over 13,000 artists every year.

Gill Lloyd, Director of Artsadmin said;

“Our solar panels are a symbol of our commitment to sustainability and the environment. Artsadmin is a leader in the arts and environment field, encouraging artists to address climate change in their work with commissions and special projects and hosting our own Two Degrees festival of art and climate change at Toynbee Studios. We’re determined to practice what we preach, so we’re really delighted to have been able to install this solar panel system.”

The rooftop system of 40 photovoltaic panels will save around 4.6 tonnes of CO2 per year – generating over 10% of the electricity used in the Studios. The panels are installed in an East West formation (rather than the traditional South facing), which maximises the use of the space and means they’ll be active for a longer period each day. A digital display in the foyer shows how much electricity is being generated at any time, as well as the total energy generated and CO2 saved since installation.

The system was installed by Joju Solar. James Page Head of Engineering, said;

“Last year I attended an inspiring climate change event ‘Two Degrees’ at Toynbee Studios and was delighted when Artsadmin agreed to ‘walk the talk’ and find room for some solar panels. Roof space was constrained, as it often is in central London, so we went for an innovative system with panels facing East and West to gather energy in mornings and evenings, which is actually the peak time for electricity use in the UK.”

Artsadmin were motivated to make the investment by Julie’s Bicycle’s Energy Efficiency project. Julie’s Bicycle makes sustainability intrinsic to the business, art and ethics of the creative industries. Alison Tickell, Chief Executive said;

“Artsadmin is a pioneering and deeply ethical organisation in so many ways, and their new solar panels are another great example of leadership. Cultural landmarks powered by renewable energy sources – Glyndebourne, the Tobacco Factory, Artsadmin – are powerful advocates for sustainability, and reach thousands of people every year as well as reducing carbon.”

Here Comes the Sun… | Artsadmin

From Artsadmin.


As a leader in the arts and environment field, Artsadmin is always looking for ways to make Toynbee Studios more sustainable (and are proud to have Green Tourism Silver award).

Since the studios were renovated in 2006 Artsadmin has been investigating the potential of putting solar panels on the roof. Then, back in September last year (when the sun was still shining) the group came upon Joju Solar, who thought they might be able to help.

Joju turned out to be exactly what was needed – they were able to manage the whole project – from the many conversations with surveyors about the weight of the panels, how they would be fixed and designed, and how much electricity the system might generate, to the purchase and installation of the panels. Finally last week Joju’s engineers installed 40 solar panels – which will generate up to 10 kilowatts of green energy.

The installation will also (hopefully) help make significant savings. With an estimated return of around 12% the panels will hopefully pay for themselves in around eight years – and over the next 25 years (the length of the lease we have on the whole building) Artsadmin is likely to make a significant return through its feed-in tariff.

For those who haven’t made it up to the roof to have a look, Artsadmin has also installed a digital display in the foyer which will show how much electricity it’s generating at any time, so here’s hoping for a hot summer in E1.


Display in the foyer the day Artsadmin overstepped the 100 kWh mark.