Elephant and Castle

New Walworth Library and Southwark Heritage Centre

Southwark Council is honouring its commitment to provide a new library and heritage centre on the Walworth Road. Cabinet agreed on the 22 January to secure units within the brand new Elephant Park development, on long-term lease from developer, Lendlease. Work to prepare the new library and heritage centre is getting underway and the council will work closely with the local community and schools, to make sure that it meets the needs of the community.

The frontage of the new library and heritage centre occupies a prominent position on the Walworth Road, adding to a streetscape of shops and restaurants, inviting both existing and new audiences to the area and helping to make sure that Walworth remains a desirable destination for all.

In addition to essential library services such as reading, community meeting space, children’s reading and rhyme time sessions, computer and internet services, to list a few, the new centre will include space for heritage and cultural displays, creating an opportunity to showcase some of the Cuming Collection and celebrate Southwark’s great heritage.

The new centre will host a rolling programme of heritage displays and educational activities for children and young people. We'll use innovative ways to engage new audiences in celebrating the heritage and culture of Southwark and use the centre as a launch pad to take our rich heritage across the borough.

We'll keep this page up to date with consultation opportunities and progress on the delivery of this exciting new community facility.


Come along to our Chalk and talk event:

  • Tuesday 24 September, 3-8pm
  • 145 Walworth Road, SE17 1FZ

See the space, talk to the lead architects, tell us your thoughts about the initial design ideas and the kind of space you want.

Bright ideas consultation

Thanks for sharing your bright ideas! The first phase of Southwark’s consultation was to understand what people loved about libraries and museums, what they'd like to have in the new Walworth Library and Southwark Heritage Centre and to hear people's individual Southwark stories.

It's obvious from the passionate and enthusiastic responses that libraries and museums are at the heart of our communities and they help our individual and societal growth and learning throughout our lives. It's important for everyone to feel welcome at libraries and musuems and for them to provide a wide range of information, learning, activities and events. They're great places to gather together and also to focus and enjoy on our own.

Please find the bright ideas consultation report here.

This information will form part of the design briefs for the new centre and will help us deliver a successful new facility.

We'll come back to you later this year as we develop concept designs to make sure we get it right.

Exhibition development and design opportunity

Southwark Council is looking to commission an artist led community engagement process to create a temporary exhibition to open the new centre. The commission is open to experienced individuals, consultancies or consortia bids. Find out more in the Creative Brief (pdf, 256kb).

Page last updated: 23 September 2019