The Brockley Community Gallery update

Following our recent article about unforseen obstacles for Brockley's new community art gallery at the Tea Factory, we're happy to be able to bring better news about the project.

Lewisham Council's planners now appear to be taking a much more proactive approach to solving the deadlock, which could have led to the collapse of the Gallery project. Discussions with the Council, Tea Leaf Arts (the group responsible for running the Gallery) and Creative Lewisham have culminated in it being agreed that Tea Leaf Arts is the "nominated occupier" for the Tea Factory unit.

This is important because the Gallery idea was proposed the original developer, who then sold the site onto DPS, the company that have seen it through to near-completion.

The Council have also confirmed that the residential units cannot be occupied until the lease has been signed by the nominated occupier, which puts Tea Leaf Arts in a strong negotiating position.

They are currently in negotiation with the developer, and will not be signing the lease until one of the following options has been agreed:

1) An extension to the rent-free period by a minimum of 6 months
2) The payment by DPS to Tea Leaf Arts of the money needed to fit the unit out
3) The unit to be fitted out by DPS prior to occupancy

A meeting with DPS is due to take place in a couple of weeks time, to agree a way forward.

Sian Knight, of Tea Leaf Arts, said:

"We're very much hoping to resolve the issues surrounding the fit-out of the gallery unit both amicably and quickly, so that Brockley residents can look forward to the opening of their new community arts space as soon as possible."

"We are still recruiting artists to join our co-operative, so that they can exhibit in the new space. Anyone who wants to get involved should email us at"

The Gallery team will also be at this year's Summer Fayre in Hilly Fields, handing out leaflets and answering your questions about the project. Look out for their lovely T-shirts in the crowd.