£10m Peckham Complex to transform South East London art scene

Peckham has been threatening to be "the next" somethingorother for a while now - mostly, the next Dalston on account of its nightlife and arts scene. This analysis also confirms Brockley's status as the new Stoke Newington - nearby but more bourgeois.

Hoping to confirm Peckham's ascendancy and their own place at the heart of that story are Bold Tendencies, the phenomenally successful arts group led by Hannah Barry and Sven Mündner, who are to Peckham what Jay Jopling once was to Hoxton. Having created the Bold Tendencies summer sculpture show (topped off with Frank's Campari Bar) in Peckham's 10 storey car park, they now want to turn the building in to a permanent art complex.

The Standard reports:

Barry and the team plan a mixed-use reinvention of the building to incorporate the existing PeckhamPlex Cinema on the ground floor. “There will be light industrial spaces, studio spaces and we’re very keen on Kunsthalle-style [independent] galleries.”

Now that Peckham is a newly desirable location (thanks in part to the East London Overground extension) the fear is that a developer could make a multi-million pound offer to bulldoze it and build flats.

Hence the pre-emptive strike. Barry and Mündner are not against regeneration but would hate the site to be cannibalised. “With the arts centre, we can propose a model that is stronger than selling the car park and generate more rates and more cash in terms of jobs,” Barry says.

There are relatively few major tourist draws between Greenwich and Bermondsey, but Bold Tendencies has already attracted 500,000 visitors in its first six years. If these £10 million expansion plans succeed, then the challenge for areas like Deptford and Brockley, which offer plenty for art-lovers, will be to soak up some of the visitors drawn to this part of South East London.

- Click here to visit the Peckham forum