Creative community take on Peckham’s car park

Southwark Council is pleased to announce that Pop Community Ltd have been selected to act as interim manager of the council’s multi-storey car park in Peckham for the next five years.

They will be turning it into a mixture of artist studios and workshops, and co-work spaces, along with meeting space, which will support a thriving community of artists, small creative businesses and local entrepreneurs.

In addition to delivering over 50 affordable studio and workshop spaces along with pop-up retail and multi-use event spaces, the Pop Community proposal will deliver the following benefits for the local community:

  • Over 600 new jobs to be created on site
  • All tenants will be independent businesses, drawn primarily from the local area, and will be required to invest at least 1 hour per week into community give back programmes
  • New multi-use event spaces which will be available for use free-of-charge to local community groups for at least 25 per cent of the time
  • 10 per cent of all scheme profits will be invested into a community fund to support local projects

Back in August the council announced it was looking for organisations, businesses and individuals to pitch their ideas to turn Peckham’s multi-storey car park into a hot spot for creative and cultural industries and to increase local employment.

The proposals had to focus on creating workspace for the creative industries and other arts and culture uses, and to work alongside the current uses on the top floors – Bold Tendencies Arts and Frank’s Bar – and the current building structure.

There was a very high level of interest in the opportunity and the council was approached by over 70 different organisations, resulting in 14 different proposals being submitted, from which the following top three were shortlisted:

  • Pop Community Ltd: A partnership of Carl Turner Architects, the architect currently working on plans to transform Peckham’s library square, and The Collective, Pop Communities are the team behind Pop Brixton. Proposal to create a multi-use event spaces, pop-up retail and café/bar with digital media and co-working space and artists studios
  • Makerversity:  Who have delivered co-working and studio space for creative businesses in Somerset House, including designers, Something & Sons, who are currently working on a new temporary hair and beauty parade on Bournemouth Road.  Proposal to open studios and workshops, targeting creative membership, with rentable event space and retail food and drink
  • Bold Home:  Led by Second Home, who run a co-working and studio space for tech and creative small businesses in Shoreditch, along with Bold Tendencies CIC, who host the high-profile summer events in the building.  Proposal to create 600 studios for artist and creatives

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pop Communities to Peckham who will work with local residents, businesses and community groups to build a thriving creative community in Southwark.

“As a council we have promised to create hundreds of new affordable work spaces for the creative industries, and this appointment is the start of us delivering on that promise.  Although the car park is still earmarked for development in the long term, we have the opportunity now to help local residents set up new businesses and provide space for local artists.”

Carl Turner from Pop Communities Ltd said: “We are absolutely delighted, over the moon, to get to work on this exciting project. We are hoping to work with all the existing organisations and add another layer to the existing success story they have created and we are just happy to be part of the picture.”