This 1960s building on Southmere Lake has been brought back to life by Bow Arts. The organisation was recently granted a 30-year lease of the building by Peabody to help ensure that Thamesmead is a culturally rich and diverse neighbourhood, with things for people to do and places to go, all year round.
With 35 affordable artist studios, two residency studios, a community darkroom and community garden, the Lakeside Centre is now a thriving and creative hub. Projects which help Thamesmead feel loved and unique – such as the travelling cinema, life drawing classes, walking nature tours, and a kids’ art club – have all started here. Others will be developed over the coming years.
A place for the whole community, the Lakeside Centre is also home to an early years nursery and community café, both run by the YMCA. The YMCA is also developing an enterprise kitchen, providing support and training opportunities for young food entrepreneurs.
Renovations of the building have been funded by City Hall’s Regeneration Fund, with support from the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), Peabody, Bow Arts and Arts Council England. The building is the first of a network of new cultural spaces that will emerge as part of Peabody’s long-term regeneration plan for Thamesmead.
In summer 2022, Peabody will be opening a further cultural venue at its development at Cygnet Square, opposite the Lakeside Centre, as local arts organisation, TACO!, move into a commercial unit. The new space will comprise a full height gallery and event space, a café and bar with outdoor seating, and bookshop. It will also incorporate a new broadcast studio for RTM.FM.