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SPG cultural policies and proposals

This is the section concerning culture extracted from 6.1 (p.35) of Southwark Council's Framework for Development document.


Southwark has already witnessed the regeneration impact that major new cultural activity can have on a particular area. Tate Modern in its first year of operation attracted over 5 million visitors to North Southwark and as a result has stimulated a range of new business activity and uses.

The Council consider that a key part of establishing a new image and identity for the Elephant & Castle will involve the attraction of new cultural activity that builds upon and compliments the already well established portfolio of City wide attractions in Southwark (the Tate, Southwark Cathedral, the Imperial War Museum, Borough Market, the Ministry of Sound).

In view of this emphasis the Council proposes as part of the redevelopment process to explore the potential for new uses that will include:

• A new arts/cultural facility of international significance.

• A new performance space.

• A theatre.

• Southwark Discovery Centre within the new Town Hall on Walworth Road.

It is anticipated that the funding and delivery of these facilities will be derived from district development, Section 106 contributions, attached to any planning permissions granted within the Framework area and through contributions from sources including SRB, LDA, land sales and lottery funding (see section 7).

In addition it will be necessary to manage the process of change and transformation. The area will experience significant reconstruction works. In addition large areas will be demolished and may remain vacant for temporary periods.

In view of this situation and as part of the process of generating a new image and identity for the Elephant & Castle the Council will actively manage transition through the introduction of temporary uses and the staging of events, including:

• The use of public art and temporary exhibitions/ installations.

• The use of temporary lighting/ video/ advertising.

• The introduction of advance landscape planting/ greening of the area.

• Temporary/ short term use of buildings and land i.e. for artists, exhibitions, events,markets, concerts.

Cultural/ creative industries

The Draft London Plan identifies the creative industries sector as one of the fastest growing sectors of the London economy, and notes that Southwark is home to an emerging cluster of this dynamic business sector.

The GLA report ‘Creativity London’s Core Business’, identifies Southwark as the Borough with the 5th highest number of creative industry employees. This sector is particularly well represented in the area immediately to the north of the core.

The Council consider that the potential exists to expand this sector and as part of this process to promote stronger links with the education sector in terms of fashion, arts and design.

IPG 1.6S/C: Social infrastructure, health. p.37

• The construction of a new library