Elephant and Castle

Walworth Town Hall


In June 2017 the Cabinet agreed a revised project mandate for the Walworth Town Hall to seek expressions of interest from the market for Arts and Culture D1 uses in the building. Through the public consultation and further detailed work with the community it was very clear that maintaining public access to the site is a key consideration, as is protecting the rich heritage of the buildings and these will be strong drivers in the marketing brief.

Originally a budget of £20m was allocated to bring the town hall back into use, however extending the scope of the project to include Newington Library and our work to understand the condition of the building indicated that project costs would total £36-40m. Due to the constraints on the council’s capital programme we decided this was not feasible. Last spring the council consulted with local residents and put forward three options for the town hall (continue with the project scope and increased cost; dispose of the building; or re-work the designs to deliver within budget and deliver the project brief).

The final option had the most support so the council undertook detailed further work with the community to better understand the potential to deliver the project in phases, with a ‘slimmed down’ project brief, and considered the potential to dispose of part of the buildings to fund these works. Following this rigorous process the project costs remained high and still required an additional £10m above the £20m already allocated to deliver a pared down version of the previous brief. Due to the continuing constraints on the council’s capital programme this additional resource is not available and is not best use of public money.


The March 2016 consultation feedback can be read here:

Walworth Town Hall - current service provision

The Cuming Museum

Walworth town hall
Walworth Town Hall

Since March 2013, the Cuming Museum has carried out a large scale conservation project to recover the affected collections, and this work is still ongoing. Fortunately, over 95 per cent of objects on display at the time of the fire have now been accounted for and the lengthy process of cleaning and conserving hundreds of items continues. While some objects were damaged by the fire, many are still in good condition.

The Cuming Museum has continued to run an events and education programme at alternative venues across the borough, including at InSpire and some of our libraries.

Programmes including the museum youth panel's film-making project 'Growing Up in Southwark' have also continued throughout 2013. Museum staff are now developing a new and exciting programme for 2014 and continuing their work behind the scenes.

Along with the museum, we've been very interested in finding an interim home for the collection. We're pleased to reveal that we'll be relocating the museum service into space at Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park, while the former town hall is refurbished. Residents can also find historic material from the Cuming at the Local History Library in Southwark.

You can find more information about the Cuming museum here.

Newington Library

In September 2014, the temporary home for the Newington Library was opened to the public at the new Artworks on Elephant Road. The purpose built library offers a service to local people who've been left without a library after the closure due to the fire at the neighbouring Walworth Town Hall.

The Newington Library will be included in the Walworth Town Hall redevelopment project. For opening times, visit the Newington temporary library page.

My Southwark Customer Service Points (formerly One Stop Shop services)

The ‘My Southwark Customer Service Point’ at 376 Walworth Road offers the same services as the former One Stop Shop. It's open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Page last updated: 31 October 2017