The future of Goldsmiths in New Cross

During a recent discussion about Goldsmiths, University of London, the Director of Estates, Michael Dick made this contribution, which deserves its own thread as it addresses an issue that's been raised many times by readers:

Just picking up on the various comments about the New Cross Road Shops on behalf of Goldsmiths College Estates Department.

These buildings adjacent to the Old Deptford Town Hall are in the ownership of Goldsmiths College. The sad state of the buildings has come about through the occupation of the buildings by illegal squatters for a number of years- we have been unable to obtain access to many areas (exceptions here are Cafe Creme and Pranksters who are legal tenants).

The College has been using legal means to gain occupancy throughout this period and in the past few has months finally gained full possession of the buildings. There is a lot of damage to rectify and the buildings have to be made safe and fire regulation compliant to allow for future use. The buildings are in a conservation area so it is likely that the buildings will need be retained in their present form. We are just now very keen to explore and develop future uses for the shops and spaces above for the College and the wider community.

Anyone who has an interest or views on future use is welcome to contact the College through my e-mail address Our current draft masterplan can be accessed through this link.

The masterplan covers the period until 2019 and is the main drivers are to improve the public realm, enhance the connections between the different sites it owns and to expand the academic and residential facilities.

Specific ideas include restoring the shops along New Cross Road (the ambition is to include an academic bookshop, gallery and restaurant), doing a Somerset House on the Richard Hoggart fourcourt by replacing a carpark with a lawn and creating a 'Cultural Mile' between New Cross and Deptford (this is more of an aspiration than a concrete plan).