Elephant and Castle

Walworth Town Hall

Update

At Cabinet on the 12 March it was agreed that General Projects was the successful bidder for the Walworth Town Hall project. The Cabinet report and decision can be viewed online.

Council will continue to work with General Projects to take this much loved building off the heritage at risk register and bring it back into use. We will also be developing a vision and considering management models with General Projects and the community for the distinct community, arts and culture space that is at the heart of the proposal.

Background

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 was not best use of public money.

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 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.

Walworth Town Hall Hoarding

Drawing out Walworth by Kerry Lemon

Following an open call for proposals, Southwark Council appointed Kerry Lemon to develop an artwork for the hoarding that protects the Walworth Town Hall. The hoarding will temporarily form part of the new Walworth Square and create an interesting backdrop for the new open space. Kerry has been busy researching the local history, people and places to help develop her drawings to celebrate the local area. Read here (pdf, 1.4mb) for more information about the illustrations and their relevance to Walworth.

Page last updated: 25 April 2019