The Tea Factory Gallery [Updated]

The Tea Factory Gallery is perhaps the most exciting development planned locally. The planning agreement struck between the Council and the developer guarantees the creation of a gallery space, which will be given rent free to the community for two years.

So, Brockley has two years to make it work - to create a financially sustainable business model which will enable it to pay its own way as a permanent facility.

Yesterday, we spoke to Andrew Carmichael, Director of the Creative Lewisham Agency (responsible for promoting the growth of Lewisham's creative industries) for an interview we hope to publish next week.

However, he gave us one piece of news that demanded immediate airing:

The gallery space is due for completion in Spring 2008 (when the Tea Factory is completed), at which point it will be nothing but an empty shell. How that shell is ultimately used is currently up for discussion and there will be a meeting in the evening of November 8th in Brockley to debate the issues. Anyone with an active interest in the gallery (including artists or people interested in running the gallery) is welcome to attend.

If you'd like to go, please email Andrew in advance to request a place.

And now, here's the official version, just sent out by Creative Lewisham, with some interesting new details...

The disused 1940’s tea and coffee factory is being converted by Michael Trentham Architects into 1440m2 mixed use space, which will consist of 4 commercial units at ground level, one of which will be a café, and 13 residential units above. Of the commercial units, the largest will be made available for use as a gallery. As yet no person or organisation has been appointed to operate the space and the meeting will be about how that process will be taken forward. Although the space will be rent free for two years it will have other operating costs and a good business plan and management structure will need to be put in place.

The Tea Factory is situated right in the heart of Brockley, beside the station and minutes away from the café’s and restaurants of Brockley Road. This is a great opportunity for local artists, arts organisations or other consortia to explore how this project could operate. Andrew Carmichael from the Creative Lewisham Agency will facilitate the meeting and Colin Yeates of DPS Property who owns the building will be present to answer questions.

22 comments:

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I'm happy to donate some pictures of my bengal kittens :o)

Actually, I have a friend who has about a 1000 pictures of old photos taken around lewisham including brockley. There are not catergoried but it could be quite an event for people to come and see and identify what streets they are? Maybe printing copies to help sponsor the gallery?

Monkeyboy said...

Andy,

Good idea, every bugger has a digital camera these days. Even phones have decent ones. A photograpy exhibition taken be 'locals' would be a great idea. Could get schools involved? A theme could be 'Changing Brockley'?

Juxtaposing an honest 'gor blimey guv'nor' window cleaner against Hugh in jodphurs riding his black stallion around Hilly Fields, scatering peasents as he goes?

(by the way still not seen the excentric cat walking dude, I think it's a myth)

Brockley Nick said...

I think the key words in the article are "financially sustainable business"!

Anonymous said...

KFC!!!!

Headhunter said...

Surely some of the people involved in Open Studios would jump at this? I was told that the people who open their homes for Open Studios are just the tip of the iceberg and make up only about a third of those of artistic talent in Brockers. The financially viable but could be tough though. Also how about talking to the people at that Art House at the end of Rokeby Rd.

BTW with all this talk of Bengal kittens I had to do a quick Google search to find out what the fuss was... Bally things look like Leopards or Lynxs! I think I would assume they were escaped from a zoo if I saw them...!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

lol.

Please don't frighten anyone HeadHunter! They are cross-bred with Bengal Tigers, mine are 4th and 5th generation which puts them at about 5-9% Bengal Tiger (anything above 10% needs a special licence!).

They are very lovable, friendly and playful cats, they love playing in water (and can even swim at a push) and you can even teach them to play fetch!

Howard James Hardiman said...

Financial viability shouldn't really be that much of a concern if whoever takes on the gallery space is able to include a decent programme of community engagement projects, education schemes and the like. To me, it sounds like a really brilliant opportunity. I'm just kicking myself that I'm working (in a different gallery space, damn it!) that night!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Financially Viable simply means your income must be higher than your expense, that should always be a concern in running a venture.

Monkeyboy said...

9% Bengal Tiger? They'll play fetch all right, if you don't mind them 'fetching' a small dog.

Monkeyboy said...

9% Bengal Tiger? They'll play fetch all right, if you don't mind them 'fetching' a small dog.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

lol well I need something to protect me from the druggies....!

Bea said...

Andy Pandy the druggies in your area must be right softies as "The Bengal is a relatively new hybrid breed of cat developed to have a gentle and friendly temperament, while exhibiting the markings (such as large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly), and body structure reminiscent of the wild Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). In other words, a Bengal cat has a desirable "wild" appearance with a gentle domestic cat temperament.

The name Bengal was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC), as shown above, and not from the more widely known Bengal Tiger species, which is unrelated to the Bengal's ancestry."

Headhunter said...

Druggies? In Brockley? Ah yes - forgot that you live outside the conservation area on the west side... (miaow)

Anonymous said...

Doesn't all Brockley's drug dealing taking place on upper brockley road? which last time i looked was on the east side. double miaow

Anonymous said...

How about turning one function of the gallery space into a film club showing dvd projected movies one night a week. During the day it could be an art gallery showcasing local artists work. Plus a cafe to make it more viable perhaps?

Howard James Hardiman said...

We do have quite a few cafes so far - I wonder how many one little suburb can cope with!

Anonymous said...

True. Alternative ideas?

Howard James Hardiman said...

Betting shop? We love those.

Pete said...

Never mind a betting shop, why not open a fully fledged Casino..?

Howard James Hardiman said...

An art installation that looks like a casino would be pretty darned brilliant. Wonder what we'd use for chips and what they'd win? An art house bingo hall!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Ere you go...

"The Bengal is a relatively new breed of cat which was first bred in the U.S.A and was originally created by crossing an Asian Leopard Cat with a domestic cat. The domestic Bengal derives its name from the Latin name of its wild ancestor, Felis Bengalensis (Asian Leopard Cat). Whilst the domestic Bengal is similar in appearance to the Asian Leopard cat, and its genetic makeup contains a contribution from that wild cat species, its temperament however is purely domestic"

Hugh said...

I must apologise for knocking you down whilst riding, Monkeyboy, dear fruit.

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