Creating a better Brixton

Brixton is world renowned for its extraordinary character, rich diversity and cultural heritage. Its economic centre is small, tightly knit and while there is a strong focus on retail, food and drink it is also home to a small, but growing creative cluster. It is surrounded by residential neighbourhoods, many with their own strong identities, as well as an important community living in the heart of the town centre.

Creating a better Brixton

We are working with all our partners to make Brixton a stronger, fairer and more prosperous place.

Council-led regeneration in Brixton could see over £350 million invested in the town centre, with an extra £2.2million spent in the local economy by new residents alone. As a council, we are committed to ensuring this growth benefits everyone and that it brings opportunities for residents in Brixton and throughout the borough.

The Brixton Economic Action Plan

Brixton Economic Action Plan overlaid on external image of Electric AvenueThe Brixton Economic Action Plan (2017) sets out some of the key economic challenges and opportunities facing local businesses, residents and investors. It sets out seven key areas for the Council and its partners to focus on. Key conclusions include that while Brixton should be looking to meet and surpass the London average in key higher value sectors, given its advantages in terms of connectivity, skilled local workforce and other amenities, it does not have enough workspace to facilitate growth and realise its full potential. The report also underlines a requirement to increase levels of employment in the town centre to support its day-time economy and to provide a range of spaces, including affordable space, to ensure the economy retains its diversity and continues to grow and develop. Read the Brixton Economic Action Plan 2017 final report.

Your New Town Hall

Aerial view of how the new Town Hall and civic centre will look.The Your New Town Hall project has rejuvenated Lambeth’s historic Town Hall, which is now open to the public. The refurbishment has preserved its features and made it more open and accessible to residents. It will also reduce Lambeth Council’s core office buildings from 14 to two, saving at least £4.5m a year.
The project will feature quality office space for local enterprises and start-ups; an energy efficient civic building with customer centre and council offices; landscaped public areas; 219 new homes, 47 per cent of which will be classed as affordable homes; and a new cycle hub with changing/shower facilities and a café. You can find out more about the
Town Hall project.

Somerleyton Road

Somerleyton RoadOver a number of years, Brixton Green, Ovalhouse Theatre and Lambeth Council have been working together to bring over 300 new homes, a theatre, a nursery, a chef school and much more to Somerleyton Road. A planning application for Somerleyton Road was approved by Lambeth’s planning committee on Tuesday 15 December 2015 and the Council is now working through a detailed delivery strategy and procuring contractors before the start of the first phase.

Brixton Supplementary Planning Document

Brixton Central Masterplan

The council will prepare a Supplementary Planning Document in order to promote, guide and control future development proposals for a number of key sites in Brixton town centre.

These sites include council and privately owned land at Canterbury Crescent, Pope’s Road, Brixton Station Road and Valentia Place, which currently accommodate Pop Brixton, the public Pay & Display and market trader car parks, the former Canterbury Arms Public House, International House, Brixton National Rail station, Sports Direct, numerous railway arches, Brixton Station Road and Pope’s Road.

The SPD will provide detailed guidance on delivering the objectives adopted in the Local Plan, Site Allocations 15 and 16, and the emerging Draft Revised Local Plan, including:

• comprehensive redevelopment of council and privately owned sites
• new and affordable homes to meeting housing need
• an increase in the amount of commercial space to secure Brixton’s economic resilience
• major improvements to public spaces along Brixton Station Road and Pope’s Road
• a refurbished train station with enhanced access
• improved connections between sites and spaces to create a lively, integrated place

The SPD will be used to determine the submission of planning applications, and is proposed to include guidance on the:

• urban design and architectural principles to be applied to new buildings
• indicative location and design of a new station building
• relocation of market trader storage
• relocation of market trader parking
• relocation of market waste compactors
• need for retained/relocated public car parking

The SPD is expected to include an indicative masterplan which will set out a preferred approach to successfully applying its land use and design guidance.

The Brixton Central SPD is expected to be developed and consulted on in 2019.

Further details as to consultation and engagement activities will be published in due course.

Pop Brixton

Pop Brixton entranceA partnership between Lambeth Council and operator Make Shift, Pop Brixton has become a thriving destination for new business, affordable workspaces, food and drink, retail outlets and community projects. It is a temporary project, making positive use of the land whilst the Council establish its plans for the long-term future of the site.  We recently concluded an evaluation of Pop Brixton’s first two years, which can be found here (and the executive summary, here). The project is home to 47 businesses, supporting nearly 200 FTE jobs, with nearly three quarters of businesses owned by Lambeth residents and three quarters of employees living in the borough. Moreover, the average tenant purchases 40% of goods locally too. The project has also generated nearly 5,800 tenant volunteer hours and supports six social enterprises benefitting from sub-market rent levels. Pop is also home to Impact Hub Brixton, which was set up with grant from the Council and provides affordable co-working space and a programme of events and support with a focus towards social entrepreneurs.

International House

International HouseFor the next five years, meanwhile use specialists 3Space will re-use and reimagine the Lambeth Council-owned International House on Canterbury Crescent in Brixton, pending the building’s likely redevelopment.

The project will provide space for new and growing businesses, social enterprises and charities, with a focus on design, creativity and innovation.

It will feature 3Space’s “BuyGiveWork” scheme, which involves giving space away to social enterprises and community groups alongside providing space that is paid for by commercial businesses.

This means that there is dedicated space for different types of businesses and organisations and an expectation that all occupiers will make an active contribution to Brixton’s vibrant community.

Engagement with local people, groups and businesses will help inform plans for the building and where possible, match available space to local need, with workshops, open days, and other events to be held at International House. To sign up or find out more information, contact 3Space.

By September 2019, when fully occupied, this exciting project will have created space for 850 jobs in central Brixton.

After the five years, International House has been earmarked for redevelopment as part of the Brixton Central masterplan. Work on the long-term planning for this site will begin later in the year.

Redevelopment will create commercial space for the future and the ambition is that businesses that develop and grow at International House will be able to graduate into new business spaces after the 5 years.

Its longer-term future, which could see the building being demolished, will be decided through the Brixton Central master planning process, which is due to be progressed further later this year.

The Brixton Townscape Heritage Initiative

Fruit and veg corner shop in BrixtonThe Brixton Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) will ultimately see £2.6 million investment in the town centre, with funds coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lambeth Council. The money is available for Victorian properties on Electric Avenue and Atlantic Road that have been identified as at risk.  We have completed 2 projects to date, with more in the pipeline.

Grants could cover up to 85% of works are available to property and business owners.  Eligible works include bringing empty residential and commercial premises back into use, upgrading windows, shop fronts and signage and repairing or reinstating historic architectural details. If you think you might be eligible, contact Ellie Cook at ecook@lambeth.gov.uk.

Brixton Public Realm Strategy

Aerial view of the new paving on Electric AvenueThe streets of Brixton add to the character of the town centre; they are home to its markets and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In 2014, following on from a recommendation in the Brixton Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), the Council, working with local people, produced the Brixton Public Realm Report. The proposals in the report are initial thoughts on what could happen, not completed designs. Since the strategy was finalised the Council has now delivered projects on Electric Avenue and Canterbury Square (outside the police station) and has worked up more detailed designs for Atlantic Road and part of Coldharbour Lane and Somerleyton Passage and Somerleyton Road.

Street Market Masterplan and Action Plan

Bustling Brixton street marketBrixton’s street markets are a vital ingredient of what makes Brixton diverse, creative and independent. They part of the very fabric of community, commerce, heritage and place. The Street Market Masterplan and Action Plan has been developed by the Council, working with market experts, Quarterbridge, researchers ROI and architects Gort Scott. It is based on extensive survey, consultation and research, with market traders, local shoppers and members of the public attending numerous events, street market pop ups and consultations to help us shape the final report and masterplan.

Once the plan is finalised, a project steering group will be established to oversee the delivery of the report. The work has already guided the first stage of improvement work to the street markets, at Electric Avenue and will be used to inform and secure funds for future improvement work to the markets at Pope’s Road and Brixton Station Road.

Electric Avenue

Electric Avenue at nightThe Electric Avenue works, completed in 2016 are the first phase of a wider Street Market Masterplan and a key project in the Brixton Public Realm Strategy. The investment has included new paving; new market stalls and gazebos; improved stall layout to improve pedestrian movement; and the hugely popular Electric Avenue rooftop illuminated sign and painted Pope’s Road bridge signage. The improvements have also led to changes in the way that the market is managed and waste is collected. A document summerising the story of the improvement works can be found here.

The £1m investment was funded by the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund, Lambeth Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The High Street Fund programme also funded a number of complimentary projects, such as improvements to the Pope’s Road toilets, card payment consoles for market traders, the Brixton £ cash machine, and the Impact Hub Brixton space at Pop Brixton. The Council is currently evaluating this wider programme and will publish the findings later in 2018.

Canterbury Square public realm improvements

Canterbury Square, BrixtonFollowing publication of the Brixton Public Realm Design Study in 2014, Lambeth Council engaged Urban Movement to develop public space improvements for the area in front of Brixton Police Station.

The new public space, Canterbury Square, aims to create a social, attractive and relaxing space for local people, and visitors to Brixton. The completed project includes new shrubs and tree planting and materials such as self-binding gravel, which reduces the amount of surface water entering the drainage system. The project has also provided new seating and cycling parking.

The project builds on the series of Pop-up Parks held on the site during the design phase and informed by these includes new permanent stone and timber installations, which encourage children’s play as they pass through.

Atlantic Road & section of Coldharbour Lane public realm improvements

Atlantic RoadThe Council has been working with the Brixton BID, Brixton Neighbourhood Forum,

Brixton Society, Brixton Market Traders Federation, Ovalhouse Theatre and architects Metropolitan Workshop, to understand the issues facing Atlantic Road, and the section of Coldharbour Lane between Atlantic Road and Somerleyton Road.  The street can be congested with cars, vans, lorries, buses and cyclists, and the narrow pavements can be crowded. This can make it difficult for businesses, intimidating for pedestrians and cyclists, and confusing for visitors.

The project then considered ideas for how a new layout could make it more welcoming, attractive, usable and safer. The Council worked up a bid for funds to Transport for London’s Liveable Neighbourhoods fund, to deliver the improvements. Unfortunately, it narrowly missed out, but we are now actively considering how we can secure the necessary money to deliver this important project.  Watch this space!

The Brixton Recreation Centre

Brixton RecIn 2015 Lambeth Council published an independent report on a range of refurbishment options for Brixton Recreation Centre. Specialist engineers and surveyors, working with architects Stride Treglown, identified the scale of refurbishment work to the Rec necessary to secure the building’s long term future. The report recommends a two phase investment strategy which would allow the Rec to keep running for the next five to seven years while the Council seeks funding for more extensive refurbishment, estimated to cost between £20m – £45m.The report is split into Part 1 and Part 2 and can be found by following the links. Lambeth council has already earmarked £6m to carry out vital maintenance and repairs to the Rec as Phase 1.

Brockwell Hall

Brockwell HallBrockwell Park is now an increasingly popular destination with park-users and high profile events organised by the Council and others. In 2013, supported with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Council undertook major restoration to the park.

Brockwell Hall is located in the centre of the park, but its contribution to the life of the park is limited despite its recognised heritage value. Working with local community group, Brockwell Park Community Partners, the Council has now submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grant to restore and re-use the Grade II* listed building, its coach house and stable block. The restoration and re-use of Brockwell Hall aims to conserve its fabric, share its history, celebrate its architecture, secure its future, and root it in the local community. Watch this space!

Loughborough Junction Masterplan

Multiple trains crossing some of the bridges in Loughborough JunctionThe Loughborough Junction Masterplan is being developed working with architects Hawkins/Brown.  The document which will set out a vision for the future of the local centre and the wider neighbourhood. This could include expanding the town centre, exploring the potential of key development sites and improving the local environment.

The masterplan, which has been produced in partnership with the local community, has already helped to drive positive change in the area, with the Council successfully securing funding to deliver the LJWorks project as a first phase, while private land owners are bringing forward proposals for a number of others sites. A series of public realm projects are also being completed in the area and the emerging masterplan is informing the partial review of the local plan, including a review of the town centre boundary. For more details on the masterplan, please visit the project LJ Masterplan website.

LJWorks

Artist impression of LJ Works, a two storey building right to the roadLJ Works will deliver approximately 1,750sqm of affordable employment space on a constrained site adjacent to vacant rail arches in the heart of Loughborough Junction.

As well as creating space for SMEs and start-ups, the project will offer on-site business support and training opportunities in partnership with local providers, and secure the medium term future of Loughborough Farm – an informal food growing project currently located on the main site that offers food growing opportunities for the local community.

The employment space will be managed by Meanwhile Space CIC, a specialist workspace provider, with whom the Council has an existing successful relationship in Brixton, and who also have an existing local presence in Network Rail-owned rail arches. One such tenant will be Mission Kitchen – a local start-up who will provide kitchen space and equipment to support aspiring food businesses.

There are also ambitions to offer construction training and build opportunities to local young people as part of later build stages of the scheme.

The project is supported by a GLA London Regeneration Fund (LRF) grant of c.£1.6m.

00 are project designers and HA Marks, a local contractor, are leading phase one of construction, which is expected to be complete by early summer 2019.

Brixton Windmill Education Centre

Watercolour of Brixton WindmillLambeth Council has been working with the Friends of Windmill Gardens (FOWG) and local architects, Squire and Partners, to design an Education and Visitor Centre and develop a business plan to support its future management. Construction will start in November 2018 and the completion is scheduled for April 2019 before opening.

The education centre will mean new and improved workshops for local school groups visiting the windmill. It will host classes for adults and children, from baking and jam making to science and art projects. The space will also be bookable for community events as well as meetings and seminars, making this a true community facility.

Brixton Road Bridge

Brixton Road BridgeAs part of the Mayor’s High Street Fund project the Council is required to deliver three Brixton street market ‘gateway features’. To date two have been delivered the Electric Avenue sign and the Pope’s Road bridge sign.

A third gateway feature was needed for the Brixton Station Road market. This presented the opportunity to also look more widely at the Brixton Road rail bridge and a suitable replacement for the ‘B OUR GUEST’ sign.

Lambeth Council and the Brixton Design Trail ran a design competition where artists/designers were invited to submit concept proposals for the opportunity to design and install a new gateway feature for the Brixton Road rail bridge. The ambition was for the designs to manifest the positive spirit of Brixton, its people, culture and heritage, now and with a nod to the future, in a way that is fresh, bold, modern, joyful and irreverent.

Following a public exhibition of competition entries, and a review by a technical panel, the community judging panel – made up of representatives from local organisations including the Brixton Business Improvement District, Brixton Society, Brixton Neighbourhood Forum, Jason Gibilaro (the artist of the current ‘B OUR GUEST’ sign), and chaired by Cllr Brathwaite the Lead Member for Environment – met in January 2018 to select a winner. The winning submission was “Style and Pattan” by local, young designers Farouk Agoro and Akil Scafe-Smith. The panel felt strongly in favour of the message of the design being a welcoming message and parting gift ‘Come in Love, Stay in Peace’.

The contractors CVU were contracted to deliver the clean-up works to the bridge before the design is installed by specialists OUTSIDE.

Creative Enterprise Zone

The Mayor of London has awarded a Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) development grant for Brixton. This grant will enable plans to be produced for a potential Brixton CEZ as a stage 2 bid (to be submitted 31 July 2018).

Brixton is under increasing pressures. Rising property prices and the loss of commercial space risk the future of creative organisations’ ability to remain and grow in the area.

We want to ensure Brixton continues to be somewhere artists and businesses can put down roots, secure new affordable workspace and inclusive growth opportunities. The Brixton CEZ proposal will be developed by a consortium including Lambeth Council, Artist Studio Company, Brixton BID, Brixton Design Trail, Capital Enterprise, MakeShift, Meanwhile Space CIC, Ovalhouse, Reprezent Radio, Squire & Partners and others.

Tripod - Brixton’s new creative base

In the heart of Brixton, within Lambeth’s newly renovated Town Hall building, Tripod is providing space and support for creative, tech and social businesses to do their best work. The new workspace was designed by award winning local creative Eley Kisimoto and Dolman Bowles and will be operated by Meanwhile Space CIC.
Tripod is providing a range of spaces (from hot-desking to large studios) for businesses to establish and grow. As well as providing workspace, a bespoke enterprise support programme will be developed in cooperation with the tenants of the space.
A dedicated 12 month social enterprise residency is available, providing subsidised rates to an organisation dedicated to social impact in the local community.
For more information and to enquire about space please visit the Tripod website.

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