Future Brixton


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Extra care homes in a street for all ages

Carlton Guy MBE

Mr Guy receiving his MBE in 2012

There are 35 sheltered housing flats in Fitch Court that lies just to the south of Brixton town centre on Effra Road.  Some of the residents have lived there for more than 20 years and there’s a culture of looking out for and after each other.

Council plans to build more extra care homes meant the redevelopment of Fitch Court and residents faced a possibility of moving away from the Brixton area before maybe returning to the new building. But now it looks like permanent homes will be found as part of the nearby Somerleyton Road project.

Mr Carlton Guy has lived at Fitch Court about nine years and is an active member of the residents association. He was concerned about the psychological effects for older people of moving, particular more than once and away from the places they know: “It’s a shame to dislocate older people and, for me, it’s the moving again and again that is going to affect people.”

Last month the Somerleyton Road project team met with Fitch Court residents for the first time. We hope there will be many more events as residents become more involved with designing this new street for all ages.

And it’s not just the design of the extra care homes that will be of interest – we’ve already had requests for Block Workout sessions, which we hope will take place soon.  Mr Guy MBE is an award-winning artistic director with links to Ovalhouse, the theatre company soon  to make its home at Somerleyton Road too.

Mr Guy was the artistic director of a Birmingham-based dance company, Kokuma, before moving to London in 1998 to become the course coordinator for Britain’s first African and Caribbean Dance diploma course managed by IRIE Dance Theatre Company and accredited by Birkbeck College. He won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Dance of the African Diaspra in 2011 and received his MBE in 2012.

He’s keen to see dance and performance help to bring cultures and generations together and is particularly excited about the Black Cultural Archives opening this year: “If you want to see how a society is doing – look at the young people – particularly from our culture. Brixton has grown a bit more sophisticated but we don’t want to lose the characters and the cultures. Our traditions are oral so we need to bring communities together to celebrate diversity.

About the possibilities at Somerleyton Road, he says: ““I’m a very optimistic person. What the council has got to prove to us is that they will involve us in the regeneration and listen to our concerns  – that we matter as residents and as a community of people and that it’s not just about a building. If this happens then Somerleyton Road could be an example for more developments to follow.”

You can read more about the Somerleyton Road project here.

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Future Brixton needs design talent……

Future Brixton is calling out to all talented and experienced designers to help us create what will appear on twenty six windows on Town Hall Parade over the coming months.

Currently taking up residence is an exhibition of sketches by Pam Williams which ran as part of Brixton Design Week, and we hope you’ve enjoyed. Now we would like to work with a designer or design team to create a new display for the windows to get people thinking about what Future Brixton.

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Time is tight on this so we would like to hear from you as soon as you can.

We are looking for infographic savvy, image creative designers to help us shape what be seen by thousands of people everyday.

Contact us on Futurebrixton@lambeth.gov.uk to find and more and get the brief.

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Brixton Business Survey Starts Today

Ecorys a research and survey consultancy, have been commissioned to undertake a telephone survey of Brixton businesses over the next few weeks, they will be contacting as many businesses as possible to ensure we’ve got a really good picture of the experience of running a business in Brixton.  A small number of face to face interviews and a focus group will also be undertaken.


We want to hear your views on the changes taking place in Brixton and what the Brixton BID and Lambeth Council can do to make sure the businesses benefit from new developments. We see this as part of an ongoing conversation about Brixton as a place to run a business, the challenges and the opportunities being faced and what we can do to improve the trading environment both now and in the future.


We want to develop a good profile of what’s happening in Brixton and to do so, we will be asking a comprehensive range of questions.  We are keen to get more businesses involved in shaping future plans and this is an opportunity to put your name forward to get involved.


We are also developing a new business support programmes and want to use this information to define what businesses need to boost performance.  Whether its advice on rents and leases, research and innovation, tax and compliance, access to finance and investment readiness, HR and recruitment, sales and marketing or having a business mentor and coach, hearing what will make the difference will support us to develop a programme that’s relevant and makes an impact.


If you have any further questions on what we are doing and how you can get involved, please contact Gail Rowe, Enterprise Manager on 020 7926 2162 or email growe@lambeth.gov.uk



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Your New Town Hall – what you’ve said

Town hall proposals, summer 2014Throughout July 2014 Muse and Lambeth Council held a number of Community Design events with the aim of improving the design of Your New Town Hall through local involvement. People were encouraged to share their ideas and thoughts, particularly about the civic spaces included in the project, such as the customer centre and the register office.

Events included meetings for residents living close to the sites that make up Your New Town Hall, workshops for community organisations and public exhibitions, such as our stall at the Lambeth Country Show and the film made by young people with Photofusion.

What you said

These are some of the issues you’ve raised. We’re taking them all seriously and here’s just an overview of what we’re doing to address them:

  1. Parking: Immediate residents are concerned about overflow parking in local streets from new residential and civic development.
    Brixton has a top rating for public transport and we will expect new developments to be car free with residents of new flats not eligible for parking permits. However, we understand that increased numbers of residents will likely lead to increased pressure on parking outside existing CPZ time restrictions. It’s possible that CPZs can be reviewed and we will also promote car clubs and cycling for Brixton residents more widely.
  2. Construction management: You wanted reassurance about disruption from building works due to YNTH and other nearby developments which may happen at the same time.
    We know that some disruption is inevitable but we will do all we can to keep this to a minimum and Muse will be drafting a construction management plan which we’ll share with you for your feedback. It will consider issues such as reasonable hours of working and how vehicles will access the site. We will also work with other developers where there are a number of local construction projects happening at the same time.
  1. Height of proposed buildings in the centre: People want the height of new buildings to respect their surroundings – particularly with regards to sunlight and privacy.
    We are testing these issues and exploring the best ways for the new buildings to respect existing residents. E.g. your comments led directly to designs that kept the press building as a buffer to noise and changes to bring back the sunlight to the community garden in Arlington Lodge
  2. Public Realm: People want a well landscaped space, which feels safe – with plants good lighting, seating and more bins.
    We’ll continue to work on plans in response to your feedback. Your comments are already helping with where to put play facilities and security gates and we’ll want your thoughts on the public spaces on Buckner Road at the next stage.
  3. Olive Morris House: Some people didn’t understand why we need to demolish Olive Morris House.
    We’ll set out the reasons why some buildings are being kept and others aren’t on the website. Olive Morris House in an expensive building to maintain and the layout doesn’t lend itself to efficient modern office space or conversion to residential. We would like you to think about how we continue to commemorate Olive Morris as one of Brixton’s heroes.
  4. Affordable housing: People want new housing to benefit local people and to have as much affordable housing as possible.
    We are developing the scheme with this in mind – and will need to comply with the council’s own policy for at least 40% affordable homes. But we also need to balance this against other community benefits – such as affordable workspace and meeting rooms.
  5. Civic spaces: People want quality spaces, with good public access, better signage and more light. Event spaces should be updated and reasonably priced.
    Your feedback will help us to improve on the event spaces and meeting rooms and we will work with you to develop a business plan to include price lists.
  6. Customer services: People want better access, shorter queues and a design that allows for private discussions.
    Your feedback is helping us to finalise the building design and we’ll work with you to further develop internal layouts and how the service works better for customers on a day to day basis – this includes making appointments so you’ll be able to see someone at a time that is convenient for you.
  7. Enterprise centre: People want a high tech but affordable space that includes other features, such as a café.
    We’ll include this space as we develop the scheme. Meanwhile, we’ll keep trialling what works at the Impact Hub, at our other meanwhile spaces in Brixton, such as Number Six and grow:brixton, and by consulting other local Hub groups.
  8. Democracy: There is support for the idea of live streaming and greater promotion of the public viewing gallery and opportunities for people to watch important meetings.
    We want to continue to work with local people to open up the town hall and get people directly engaged with democratic processes. The design of the building is just the start and using digital technology can bring the town hall to you.

What happens next?

What we’ve shown you so far has been very much a work in progress so that your feedback can shape the design of the scheme. At the next stage, which is known as pre-planning consultation, we’ll show you the draft proposals for the scheme and we’ll want to know what you think. This will be the final stage before the scheme is submitted to the planning authority so it’s important you have your say.

The design of the scheme is not the end of your involvement, however, and there will be opportunities to help us shape how services operate and internal design.

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Elam Street open space – open to new ideas

Please join us on Saturday 18 October at the Elam Street Open Space between 1 and 4pm to share your views with Lambeth and the Elam Street Friends Group to build the future of this great space!

Loughborough Junction’s Green Scene

Elam Street Open SpaceThere’s a little green space in Loughborough Junction between Gordon Grove and Lilford Road that you may have spotted from the train as it slows down to approach Loughborough Junction Station. Flanked by the Hartford Estate and the railway arches this lush green pocket is most popular with four-legged residents, but also serves locals travelling on foot or by bike who prefer a quiet greenway through the neighbourhood.

Glory Days

Long-term residents will recall Elam Street Open Space at its best; when the boardwalk decking bridged a thriving bog habitat full of wildlife, children from the neighbouring flats played on the playground, and the outdoor fitness trail was installed to encourage local residents to keep fit in the great outdoors. These investments were appreciated on arrival, but a lack of maintenance, budget and general understanding when it comes to how to use the fitness equipment has dulled the shine on this great space.

With a Little Help from My Friends

In Early 2014 the Loughborough Junction Action Group (LJAG) helped incubate the “Elam Street Friends Group” to bring together locals with a common interest in making the park a safe place for everyone to enjoy. Combined with efforts from other local non-for-profit groups such as One Planet Ventures and the Remakery, Elam Street Open Space has seen new notice board planters installed, and played host to wild food walks, volunteer planting sessions and children’s activities including tree house building, bug hotel construction, and fire making workshops in the last 6 months.

Piloting the Future

Through working with Lambeth the group has been approached to help consult on a pilot scheme that would invite relevant businesses to operate within the space in exchange for shared responsibility for maintenance. As the council is faced with cutbacks this new approach may be the best way to attract users, improve existing infrastructure, and secure a more self-sustaining future for the Elam Street Open Space.

Share your views

Please join us on Saturday 18 October at the Elam Street Open Space between 1 and 4pm to share your views with Lambeth and the Elam St Friends Group to build the future of this great space!

For more information please contact us

On twitter: @ElamStFriends

On our website: http://elamstopenspace.wordpress.com/2014/05/

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Your New Town Hall Film Launch

On Saturday 27 September a short film, Your New Town Hall, created by five young Lambeth residents and Photofusion was screened as part of Photofusion’s Still/Moving Film Festival at grow:brixton and again at the awards and closing event at The Rizty the following evening. The film is a contribution from the young people to the Community Design stage of the Your New Town Hall project and is their response to meeting the architects and touring the grade II listed building. 

View the film here or click on the image below.

For more information on Your New Town Hall click here







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Impact Hub Open Day this Friday

Rebecca from the Impact Hub entices you to a free afternoon of co-working in a vibrant space in central Brixton.

Do you fancy a free lunch with the team from Brixton Pound? An evening beer with the movers and shakers of Lambeth?

The Impact Hub Brixton is opening its doors to everyone this Friday. Entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, campaigners and other people typically working solo are often particularly interested in what the Hub has to offer, as well as any groups looking to put on events in a relaxed environment.

Visitors can have a tour of the space, meet members, co-work for a few hours, appreciate the smooth beats of Jazz FM, tuck into fresh croissants, nab a free lunch (yes there is such a thing), and enjoy a cold beer on the patio. What’s not to like we reckon.

You can sign up here then make your way to over to us this Friday – we’re in Lambeth Town Hall (SW2 1RW).

Other events

A series of three action-packed workshops on sales and marketing will kick off this Thursday, delivered by Tobi Lawal, Hub Member and Founder of Tribethink. The first workshop is all about building a sales pipeline, and will be especially useful to small businesses. Book your ticket at https://salesstages.eventbrite.co.uk/, and check out workshop 2 and 3: http://brixton.impacthub.net/events/upcoming/

And if you, like us, are rather confused when it comes to accounting, then get yourself over to the Hub on Monday 29th September. Green Accountancy will be delivering two one-hour crash courses on all things book-keeping, tax, trading entities for social enterprises and small business start-ups. Sign up here now.

Don’t miss out!

In the meantime, find out about other events, opportunities and resources by signing up to the Impact Hub Brixton newsletter.

And if you’re interested in putting on an event or having a personal tour of the space, just drop us a line impacthubbrixton@gmail.com


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