Bow Arts Awarded £382,000 by Arts Council England to Upgrade the Lakeside Centre

We are delighted to have been awarded a £382,480 Small Capital Grant from Arts Council England to upgrade the iconic Lakeside Centre, Thamesmead, which we’re currently bringing back to life as a new cultural centre.

Arts Council England’s investment will enhance the accessibility, sustainability and impact of the redevelopment by providing for the installation of an accessible lift to the first floor studios and events spaces, accompanying necessary works to the upper stairs and fire safety precautions to the roof, installation of a photovoltaic solar panel system to allow the centre to generate a good proportion of its own power, and installation of a rooftop lightbox to lift and contemporise the architecture, elevating the building visually and putting it “on the map”.

“Our Capital: Small Grants programme provides organisations with vital funding to ensure that their buildings and equipment can adequately support their work,” says Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England, “We are able to help organisations of all sizes from across the country develop more sustainable and resilient businesses through these grants, allowing them to produce even more excellent work for the public.”

The Lakeside Centre, with its iconic Brutalist architecture, and stunning views of Southmere Lake and the area’s famous skyline, is a Thamesmead landmark. Planned to launch to the public in Spring 2019, it will feature:

  • 40 new affordable creative workspaces for local artists, designers and makers
  • The Front Room Café, a flexible and welcoming space for people to meet, eat, relax and work, serving delicious, affordable meals and beverages
  • The Enterprise Kitchen, a hire kitchen and production and training facility run by social enterprise Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency, teaching cooking and business management skills to young, local street food businesses
  • An early years day nursery, run by the YMCA, with places for 6 babies, 24 toddlers and 28 pre-schoolers

Having previously operated variously as a bar, restaurant, nightclub and café, the Lakeside Centre holds an important place in the area’s history. As well as breathing new life into the building, the project will include a packed calendar of cultural, educational and enterprise events. Local school activities with bespoke, artist-led projects, and low cost tethered housing for creatives will support Thamesmead’s development into a thriving cultural hub by unlocking the area’s talent and creating routes for local children and young people into the creative industries. The new centre places sustainability and community investment at its heart: new growing gardens will pioneer local, sustainable food production and consumption, with the Enterprise Kitchen making use of the gardens’ produce to teach local children and adults new skills and techniques in food preparation, in turn providing meals for the nursery.

The renovation is led by Bow Arts as part of Peabody’s ambitious vision for change in Thamesmead, supported by the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund (LEAP).

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