South-east London cultural hub to be created in £1bn Thamesmead revamp

An artist's impression of the revamped Lakeside Centre An artist's impression of the revamped Lakeside Centre
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Thamesmead’s Lakeside Centre is to become a cultural hub for artists as a result of £1 billion plans to regenerate the neighbourhood in south-east London.

Housing association Peabody, which owns Thamesmead, has teamed up with arts education charity Bow Arts for the project. It is part of Peabody’s wider regeneration programme for the estate in the London boroughs of Bexley and Greenwich.

The redevelopment will be funded by the mayor’s London Regeneration Fund and Peabody. It will create 40 affordable creative workspaces for emerging talent in all arts sectors, as well as affordable housing for cultural key workers.

Plans also include a series of events, school programmes, public art and pop-up stalls and markets.

Bow Arts will manage the building. The organisation runs an education programme that sees artists take their work into 90 schools to improve the lives of young people. It also runs the Nunnery Gallery in east London.

Peabody’s executive director for Thamesmead, John Lewis, said: “The Lakeside Centre will be a very special place for residents to enjoy and will also help develop Thamesmead’s existing creative and entrepreneurial spirit and bring new businesses, jobs and visitors to the area. Alongside the other exciting changes taking place in the area, this will help Thamesmead fulfil its promise as London’s new town.”

Chief executive of Bow Arts Marcel Baettig said: “It’s very exciting to land in Thamesmead and immediately become a part of such an important project such as the re-imagining of the Lakeside Centre. We know the centre will become a catalyst for unlocking the talent that we know already exists in the area.”

The London Regeneration Fund was launched in 2016 to “re-energise the capital’s places of work and high streets by embracing the city’s incredible talent for creativity and technological innovation”.

The Lakeside Centre opened in 1971 as a bar and restaurant. It was one of the main locations used in the television drama Misfits.

Plans have been submitted to the London Borough of Bexley. If approved, it is hoped that the Lakeside Centre will open in April 2018.