Trio selected to move forward with Walworth Town Hall proposals

10 September 2018

Three organisations have been invited by Southwark Council to submit Stage 2 proposals to revitalise Walworth Town Hall including public access to arts and cultural space.

In July 2013, the council put forward a vision of future uses for the building including an enhanced library service, flexible community space and facilities for marriage, civil partnerships and citizenship ceremonies, with a £20m budget.

The Grade II listed building, which was home to the Newington Library and Cuming Museum, has been empty since it was devastated by fire in March 2013. Subsequent survey work on the building since then has revealed more work than originally thought to the scope of development, while construction costs have also shot up over the last few years, making the council’s original plan unaffordable.

Instead the council has been consulting with local residents and community representatives to come up with an alternative plan. Towards the end of 2017, the council reached out to arts and culture groups and organisations who might be interested in operating out of Walworth Town Hall in the future.

After receiving several bids the council has selected three – Castle Forge Partnership, General Projects and Milligan Creative Trade – to submit full proposals for how they would manage the site. All three proposals mix offering space for creative business start ups with the council’s required space for cultural activities and public access.

Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, development and planning, said: “We were excited to see the range of proposals that came forward following last year’s call for ideas and we believe the three we have chosen will offer a strong and sustainable option to bring this historic building back into use. I look forward to seeing their full proposals and ensuring this building is brought back in to use for the local community as soon as possible.”

The three proposals are due to be submitted to the council in November, following which there will be a public consultation and all three organisations will be engaging with local groups and the community.

The final decision will be made in spring 2019, and the selected proposal will be given a long leasehold interest and start the planning procedure. 

Page last updated: 10 September 2018