Help us transform 60 vacant garages on the Ledbury Estate into spaces for workshops, studios, cooking lessons and cultural activities where people can learn and socialise.
Help us turn a 1290sqm garage on the Ledbury Estate into a vibrant community hub with a programme of activities for everyone. The Livesey Exchange aims at bringing life, new skills and jobs to a neglected corner of South East London. Conceived as a place where people from diverse backgrounds will meet, have fun and discover programmes that can help them progress in their chosen paths. Everyone using the space, including staff, residents, trainees, entrepreneurs, artists, community groups and businesses, will have the opportunity to learn new skills and access space and support. The Livesey Exchange will need capital funding to upgrade the garages and to kick-start the programme of activities. It is proposed to develop the Livesey Exchange in stages over a period of two years.
What we’ll deliver:
- Make garages safe for public access and programmes
- Kickstart activities programme with an opening event for the community
- Make space available for community use
- Create temporary metal and screen printing workshops
- Run bike repair workshops
- Develop a sustainable business model
- Fundraise for future building works
Why it’s a great idea:
The Livesey Exchange seeks to create a dynamic space where people from diverse cultural backgrounds can come together informally and through organised programmes. As more homes are being built in the area the Livesey Exchange will support residents and businesses on the Old Kent Road by offering a place where people can socialise, learn new skills and have access to training and advice in an area with high youth unemployment and low levels of education. Previously there were numerous meeting places serving the communities on Old Kent Road including libraries, cinemas, music halls, 33 pubs (of which there’s only one left) and a civic centre – now there is a serious lack of community spaces. The Livesey Exchange aims to address this need.
Steps to get it done:
- Make garages safe for public access and use, install toilets, unblock entrances to Old Kent Road and add signage.
- Opening event to launch the Livesey Exchange as a large venue for experimentation and commence the programme of use.
- Develop sustainable business model for the Livesey Exchange.
- Secure funding to complete construction of workshops, studios, training kitchen and roof repairs.
The Livesey Exchange project is being developed by residents from the Unwin and Friary Estate – Nicholas Okwulu, director of social enterprise Pempeople in collaboration with Ulrike Steven, director of architecture practice what if: projects. The Pempeople team who have a strong track record in running transformative locally-focused employment schemes with successful schemes in Brixton (the Loughborough Estate Bike Shop) and Peckham (Pop Up Shop) will lead the Livesey Exchange project. Proposals are supported by Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark Council, GLA, Ledbury Estate TRA, Unwin and Friary TRA, Peckham weeklies, local business and residents. Partner organisations who have expressed their interest at being involved with the Livesey Exchange programme include amongst others Tate Collective, Eden Project, Centric Learning and London Youth. Southwark Council who own the Ledbury garages are currently (April) in the process of preparing a lease agreement for Pempeople.