The council will rent out space in the newly created workspace at The Rec to Photofusion and The Advocacy Academy. New tenants are Lambeth-based organisations and support people working in the creative sectors and with young people.
The overall project has turned underused areas into new secure, affordable workspace as well as substantial improvements to the exterior of the Rec, and refurbishments to shops in Brixton Station Road.
Cllr Jacqui Dyer, cabinet member for Inclusive Economy and Equalities, said: “I am delighted we can confirm both Photofusion and The Advocacy Academy as tenants at the newly created workspace within previously hidden space at Brixton Rec.
“Both organisations have strong connections in Lambeth and a track record in fostering ambition and creativity and share our commitment to the renewal of Brixton Station Road and Brixton Rec to create a thriving hub of community and creative talent.”
The Revitalising Brixton Rec Quarter project has turned underused basement and ground floor spaces into workspace to support local charities in Brixton. The two new tenants will move into their new premises over the coming months.
Photofusion has been based in Brixton for more than 30 years as the home for socially engaged creatives who provide photography training for local people. The organisation will use the new basement space for its darkrooms, while operating photography studios and gallery space on the ground floor.
The Advocacy Academy was established in 2014 in Brixton and has been operating from the Vining Street Community Hub and at Tripod at Lambeth Town Hall. They will establish a new centre for their programmes including their six-month Social Justice Leadership Fellowship, and will support local charities and grassroots organisations working in the social justice or youth space with meeting and event space, and coworking space.
The works have also included the reinstatement of The Rec’s original sign, improved lighting to create more welcoming public areas and a ‘Walk of Fame’ along the pedestrian ramp to celebrate local sporting achievements.
Shopfronts have also been significantly upgraded to support the vibrant local businesses in and around the Rec.
Elias Filali, owner of the Brixton Station Road branch of Western Union, said: “We really value the investment and support we have received from the RBRQ project. With a totally new shopfront and a improved interior it is a fresh start for our business, and we hope the results of the project will bring new customers to Brixton Station Road.”
The work was funded by Lambeth Council along with £2.17million from Mayor’s Good Growth Fund and further investment from the Corporation of London.
Cllr Dyer added: “This project is a great example of how Lambeth Council can work with funding partners such as City Hall and the Corporation of London to empower community organisations to deliver real benefits for local people.”