The A.P.T., which has a strong reputation for showing contemporary fine art, has been working since 1995 to provide support for fine artists. The opening of this latest building brings its total number of studios up to 41.
This is the speech I gave at the opening:
"When I asked Liz [May, A.P.T. Studio & Gallery Manager] what my duties would be today she explained I would follow several speakers and I would only need to say a few words. Nonetheless I asked for a brief. It was 1327 words long - I couldn't resist having them counted!
"But that just demonstrates what a consummate professional she is - everything at her finger tips: the history of nearly 20 years with its 17 great milestones, culminating in today's new studios, to its 31 grants ranging from just over £200 to £142,000 .
"It is a remarkable achievement and one I've been privileged to follow since its inception. And what makes it so remarkable is the people who have led A.P.T. and still massively contribute today.
"Having worked in the inner city for 30 years I know the relentless pressures of poverty and deprivation and blighted ambition. But here in the heart of Deptford, A.P.T. is a beacon of excellence, giving inspiration to local people, providing the vital low cost studios for artists and lifting all our spirits through exhibitions and events.
"It is impossible to put a value on art. We may not always like what we see, we may sometimes want for understanding - though that is always a stimulus - but when we do connect the range of possible emotions is limitless.
"I congratulate everyone involved in all that A.P.T. has done and is doing and in particular the completion of the Welding Shed Studios, which in a few moments it will be my great pleasure to open."