From one-person start-ups to successful creative businesses, Somerset House is home to possibly the largest creative community in London. Our residents include 100 organisations from the arts and creative industries: Courtauld Gallery and Institute, King’s College London Cultural Institute, British Fashion Council, Clore Leadership Programme, Dance Umbrella, Fuel Theatre, Improbable, Music for Youth, MOBO, National Youth Orchestra, Sorrell Foundation, plus others ranging from advertising, branding, PR agencies and film production, to social enterprise and business support organisations. The Somerset House Exchange provides co-working space for 120 small businesses and start-ups. Within Somerset House Studios, our community of artists, makers and thinkers, there is Makerversity, a pioneering collection of emerging maker businesses which we have supported since its launch.
From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion including the first home of the Royal Academy of Arts and other learned societies – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. For over 200 years the building housed various government departments including births, marriages and deaths and the Inland Revenue until Somerset House Trust was established in July 1997 to conserve and develop Somerset House as an arts centre. After a campaign to open Somerset House to the public, we once again became a home for arts and culture in 2000. Find out more about Somerset House's rich history or go on a free historical tour.