Future Brixton

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Brixton Desgin Week::September 13th – 21st

BDW Shop Poster

Changing Brixton By Design – Binki Taylor 

For the first time this year Brixton is taking part in the London Design Festival. Brixton Design Week runs from 13th to 21st September. It’s an event which has particular resonance as Brixton itself is undergoing huge transformations with parts of the town centre being redesigned.

Brought together by a small team of founding members including We Love Brixton and design and fabrication consultants 2MZ, Brixton Design Week has amassed a collection of local design talent to represent the area. There will be installations, exhibitions and talks all blooming from some fab new partnerships. Brixton Design Week is about highlighting our home-grown talent and its potential when harnessed together, to develop social, cultural and economic capital within our community. It’s also about showing how we engage with design on a daily basis whilst going about the regular routines of working, travelling, shopping and relaxing.

So what’s on offer?

grow:brixton looks to the future with a live-in prototype of their development at the old ice rink site; they are now furiously transforming a shipping container into a mini-studio. Local photographer Vincent Garnier will spend the week roaming around Brixton with his ‘Golden Throne’ inviting Brixtonites and visitors to BDW to strike a pose for him. Play with 3D printing at Turpentine, join in the ‘Brixton Chronicles’ with Robyn Parker whilst having your breakfast at Phoenix, wander the village to discover a host of interesting designers working at Woo Woo Boutique, Circus, Snugg, Studio 73 and Cornercopia Homestore.

Talk design with the Design Council or Crafty Fox. Visit Making Uncovered for beautiful craft and workshops. As founders we have been delighted by such a positive response to a crazy timescale and no funds. Brixton has pulled it out of the bag and now it’s time to enjoy it!

Details of exact dates, times and locations for all activities are available on brixtondesignweek.co.uk
Tweet us @BrixtonDW



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A challenge to all of us

by Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth  Cllr Jack Hopkins

On Monday we set 20 young people from Brixton a challenge about the future of their town centre.

We asked them how to get young people involved in decisions about the regeneration of Brixton. Decisions about employment, affordable space for new enterprise, housing and the kind of developments they’d like to see.

We asked them to think, not only about the options that should be considered, but also where they would live and work in 5 – 10 years’ time.The Challenge

Lambeth is changing. It’s growing and it’s attracting millions of pounds worth of investment. Our commitment is to make sure that everyone gets a fair crack at the jobs, homes, cultural and business opportunities this brings.

But communities need to fight for their share in the proceeds of growth too, particularly young people who really are the future of Lambeth.

The Youth Council and the National Citizenship Service, who held the challenge, are planning similar across the borough from Waterloo and Vauxhall to Streatham and Norwood. The idea is that young people are better at engaging with their peers (provided they have the right support) than old geezers like me.

Since I took on the cabinet post for growth and jobs last month, I’ve been struck by the different attitudes towards growth. Those who see opportunity and ambition and those who fear change will leave them behind. 

Regeneration is often seen through the eyes of cynics who are quick to criticise ‘gentrification’ but ignore the benefits. If ‘gentrification’ means cleaner streets and safer estates then I’m all for it.

But, there is a deafening silence from those who stand to benefit most; people in need of affordable housing, access to jobs and business opportunities, safer public spaces and more culture and leisure.

This comment, from a Vauxhall resident, says it all: “those jobs won’t be for us, those businesses won’t be for us.”

We have to work together to make sure that’s not the case. But we also need to shout about the good stuff happening now – like Block Workout and all at Number 6, Steadman Scott’s boxing at the Rec, Ovalhouse coming soon, grow:brixton, the list goes on.

My challenge to you is find out what’s going on, make sure your voice is heard or sit back and let it pass you by. It’s your future.

Some ways to get involved

Will Sandy, Makaela Gilchrist and Carl Turner from grow:Brixton

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Sowing the seeds for Grow Brixton

Back in April we saw a team of award-winning architects, urban designers and food growers won the chance to transform empty space at the former ice rink site in Pope’s Road.

Grow Brixton has now submitted a planning application for the scheme and you have until Wednesday 13 August to make any comments.

There’s a number of ways you can find out more and have your say and you can talk to the team if you’re interested in renting space:

Brixton Central masterplan pop-up stall

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Hundreds getting involved in the Brixton Central masterplan

Local people have helped IMG_1369to come up with a number of ideas about how the Brixton Central area could change for the better. Now, we need to know what you think.

So far more than 30 people came to the Community Reference Group workshop and we’ve spoken with hundreds of local businesses, residents and shoppers during three pop-up events this week. We were on Brixton Station Road market (Sat), Windrush Square (Tues) and at Brixton Village (Wed) so thanks to everyone who came and shared their views.

What have people been talking about?

  • Car parking has come through as a key issue, especially from local businesses.
  • There has also been a good debate about the height of buildings, with different views on how high buildings should be and where the tall buildings could be located. IMG_1352
  • People have told us affordable homes and the potential for affordable workspace are important and they want a mix of independent shop.
  • Lots of people have also talked about the need for public realm improvements. 

Join the debate

We’ll be at the fantastic  Lambeth Country Show this weekend (stand 27 in the Picnic Area) and then next week we’ll be hosting an exhibition in one of the units underneath the train station on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (see calendar opposite for details).

More details about the proposals, including exhibition boards, a presentation and a questionnaire are on the Brixton Central masterplan page. Please take a look at the ideas so far and let us know what you think. The closing date to feed back is Friday 8 August.


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Young people have their say on Brixton Central masterplan

Evelyn Grace Academy pupils discussing Brixton Central masterplanStudents of all ages from Evelyn Grace Academy got involved with the Brixton Central masterplan during a workshop run by Fluid on Thursday 26 June. We’d like to thank all the students who took part and the Stephen Lawrence Trust for its help on the day.

During a series of group exercises, we asked the young people a number of questions to understand how they felt about Brixton now and what they wanted to see in the future. It’s important that young people play their part in writing the masterplan and here’s an overview of some of their responses.

Can you describe Brixton? The words “multicultural” and “diverse” featured most. “Lively”, “vibrant” and “unique” were also popular.

Where do you like going in Brixton? The library, shops (clothes and food) and parks were mentioned. Brixton Rec Centre and the cinema also featured. The market was the place that students said they avoided and “overcrowding” was one of the reasons given.

What does Brixton Central need less of? “Restaurants, cafes and bars” were mentioned most, with “phone shops” also featuring.

If you had three wishes for Brixton? Students wanted “more police and less crime”. They also wanted sports facilities and things for young people to get involved with. 

What is your hope for Brixton Central?

  • “for the crime rate to decrease and for the reputation of the area to be more positive”
  • “more beneficial towards youths, elders and others that are challenged”
  • ” hope for change, but not for an unrecognisable Brixton”
  • “that it is suitable for the current population of Brixton and everyone feels comfortable in it”
  • “change to benefit our generation and the next generation of Brixton”
  • “facilities for a wide range of people of all ethnicities, rather than one specific group”
  • “that is does not become overcrowded and that everyone knows each other with a family environment”
  • “that Brixton can develop while keeping its originality and diversity”
  • “for it to become safer and gang free, and affordable”

How you can get involved

There are a number of events this month and the calendar on the right lists all of these:

  • Thursday 10 July, Community Reference Group meets – 7.30-9.30 at the Impact Hub (please register)
  • Saturday 12 July, Pop-up stall – 10am-4pm at Brixton Station Road Market
  • Tuesday 15 July, Pop-up stall – 11am-5pm at Windrush Square
  • Wednesday 16 July, Pop-up stall – 11am-5pm at Brixton Village
  • Saturday 19 July, Lambeth Country Show – 11am-5pm at Brockwell park
  • Sunday 20 July, Lambeth Country Show – 11am-5pm at Brockwell Park
  • Tuesday 22 July-Thursday 24 July, Drop-in Exhibition – 1-4pm at Brixton Station
view of Ovalhouse theatre

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How to design Somerleyton Road?

Here Robert Knight explains Igloo’s approach to design for Somerleyton Road development

When we spoke to local residents and businesses about the redevelopment of Somerleyton Road some people were concerned that a ‘shiny new development’ would be built that would have no relationship with the surrounding area or the communities living there.

We need to make sure this doesn’t happen so we will approach the design of the new buildings in a different way.

We believe that the best places are made when you select the best architects for each building and public space. Therefore, we have drawn up a long list of architectural and landscape practices, including a number of local ones, who we believe have the qualities necessary to deliver the type of street that people want to see.

Igloo, on behalf of the partnership, will speak to this long list of practices. We’ll assess each one in terms of their quality of design, their capacity and proposed design team, as well as any specialisms they may have (such as theatre design and heritage).

We’ll then recommend four to five practices that we think are the best fit for Somerleyton Road and could work together to create buildings that will reflect the neighbourhood and local community.

To make sure the individual building do work together, lead architects Metropolitan Workshop will coordinate the work. This will include making sure landscaping and building services work across the whole development.  Igloo will be speaking to the practices soon and the project steering group hopes to announce the final list of architects in August 2014.

In the meantime we’ll also be making sure we understand all the technical and engineering constraints of the site so we can brief the architects.

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Consultation on streets and open spaces

Your feedback is needed on these ideas for improving town centre streets and open spaces.

Local people have been working with the council, landscape architects and transport engineers to come up with ideas to improve Brixton’s town centre streets and open spaces. We’ve held workshops with local residents and businesses and come up with some proposals. You can read about them in detail in the Public Realm Report and let us know what you think through this questionnaire

Please note the deadline to feed back is Monday 14 July.

The streets we’re looking at include:

Acre Lane proposals

Acre Lane proposals

Brixton Station Road/Pope's Road proposals

Brixton Station Road/Pope’s Road proposals


Coldharbour Lane proposals

Coldharbour Lane proposals

Atlantic Road proposals

Atlantic Road proposals

For more information about the Public Realm Strategy >


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