A new style community space has opened at 231 Old Kent Road.
231 Old Kent Road is a place for local residents, businesses, community groups and other partners to share ideas and engage in discussion about the proposals for the future of the neighbourhood.
The new community space, created by Southwark Council, launched on 4 April with Museum of Us – an exhibition and programme of workshops, events and tours celebrating the area’s people and history. The programme – led by local businesses, organisations and residents – has included a diverse range of activities such as as leather working; tea coaster making; photography and walking tours of the neighbourhood.
Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning said: “I was delighted to be at the official opening of our new community space and be able to reiterate the council’s commitment to ensuring the local community remain at the heart of plans for Old Kent Road. Growing up in the area, I know the importance of a space which brings together local people to have their say in the exciting changes taking place in the area over the next 20 years.”
Local resident, Shelene, who has lived in the area for 20 years, also spoke at the launch and talked about how excited she was to be part of the plans for the space with the idea of bringing people together in Old Kent Road.
She commented: “When I was invited by to be a part of the Museum of Us project I wanted to be involved because I’m proud of my area where I’ve lived for such a long time. I’ve seen many changes happen but never felt the changes involved my opinion or ideas, even though the changes may have had a negative impact on how I experienced my area.
“So I wanted to use this opportunity to shine a light on how people should and can be involved in how decisions made can be impacted by our voice. The path – that has led me to be more aware of how to become involved with the goings on in and around my area – wasn’t born overnight but stemmed from organisations such as Pempeople.
Prior to this, I was oblivious to how to be involved in changes affecting my area or setting up a local project for the benefit of locals, so community forums like this will create a beneficial platform that I hope locals will feel encouraged to utilise. And I do hope that the council and other organisations involved in the changes will listen and take on board people’s comments and feedback so that, together, we can form a super Southwark”.