Old Kent Road opens new community space for locals

16 April 2019

A new style of community space was opened last week in the heart of SE1.  Located at number 231 Old Kent Road, the council has created a place for local residents, businesses, community groups and other partners to share ideas and engage in discussion about the proposals for the location and the future of the neighbourhood. The space launched with Museum of Us - an exhibition and series of workshops, events and tours celebrating the area’s people and history.

Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning said: “I was delighted to be at the official opening of our new community space and be able to reiterate the council’s commitment to ensuring the local community remain at the heart of plans for the Old Kent Road. Growing up in the area, I know the importance of a space which brings together local people to have their say in the exciting changes taking place in the area over the next 20 years."

The programme of events, workshops and interactive sessions, led by local businesses, organisations and residents includes such diverse skills as leather working and Jesmonite tea coaster making. Popular walking tours of the original Old Kent Road, which dates back to Roman times also include the visiting of some of the more famous local public houses.

Local resident Shelene who has lived in the area for 20 years also spoke at the launch and talked about how excited she was to be part of the plans for the space with the idea of bringing people together in Old Kent Road. She commented: “When I was invited by to be a part of the Museum of Us project I wanted to be involved because I am proud of my area where I have lived for such a long time. I’ve seen many changes happen but never felt the changes involved my opinion or ideas even though the changes may have had a negative impact on how I experienced my area.

"So I wanted to use this opportunity to shine a light on how people should and can be involved in how decisions made can be impacted by our voice. The path that has led me to be more aware of how to become involved with the goings on in and around my area wasn’t born overnight but stemmed from organisations such as Pempeople. Prior to this I was oblivious to how if I wanted to be involved in changes affecting my area or setting up a local project for the benefit of locals so community forums like this will create a beneficial platform that I hope locals will feel encouraged to utilise. And I do hope that the council and other organisations involved in the changes will listen and take on board people’s comments and feedback so that together we can form a super Southwark”.

Page last updated: 16 April 2019

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