Operators sought for new LGBTQ+ cultural space in Southwark

11 August 2023

Southwark Council is working with Native Land and the GLA to find an operator to develop and run an LGBTQ+ cultural space in two historic railway arches at Bankside Yards in Southwark.

The project is being delivered in consultation with the Southwark LGBT Network, the GLA, and a cross-party group of local councillors that includes Southwark Council Leader, Cllr Kieron Williams.

Interested operators are invited to submit proposals that will create a cultural amenity for the LGBTQ+ community based on a 10 to 25-year lease of the space. The arches have potential to accommodate a range of uses, from performance to cultural gatherings, workshops and events, however, it is not intended for the venue to have a late-night license.

A specially convened panel will evaluate proposals based on their viability as a business and their strategic value to the LGBTQ+ community in London, with a view to select a creative concept that will provide a lasting focus for the LGBTQ+ community in Bankside, Southwark and across London.

Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land, said: “Our vision for Bankside Yards will deliver a truly mixed-use neighbourhood, connecting cultural uses with world-class businesses, a range of new homes, and both independent and global retail and hospitality brands. The delivery of the LGBTQ+ space within the renovated railway arches ensures this important community continues to be a part of the area, with the potential to provide the diverse opportunities for art, culture and support that help Bankside thrive.”

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Communities, Democracy and Finance at Southwark Council, said: “This new LGBTQ+ cultural centre presents a fantastic future venue for the borough and for London. Southwark has a proud history of LGBTQ+ allyship, reflected in the fact that we have the fourth largest lesbian, gay and bisexual community in the country, and the fifth largest transgender community. We must continue to provide unwavering support and fantastic services for our LGBTQ+ residents in Southwark and across the city.

“We’re delighted that one of our prominent development partners is working with us to launch this flagship space that will be a haven to the LGBTQ+ community. I cannot wait to see what exciting offers, plans and ambitions may come forward for the use of this stunning and vast space by Blackfriars station.”

Entrants should visit www.banksidelgbtq.co.uk and request entrants’ packs, which include brochure, site plans, terms of reference, head lease information. Submissions are due by 12pm 13 October 2023, with shortlisted interviews at the start of October 2023.

Page last updated: 11 August 2023

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