Pop Brixton

Introducing Peckham Levels - An Experimental Creative Community

On Friday 6th November, Southwark Council announced that the team behind the innovative project Pop Brixton will be transforming Peckham Town Centre Car Park into Peckham Levels; a new creative community for local artists and entrepreneurs.

The project shares Pop Brixton’s ambition to support local, independent talent but is taking an entirely new approach to reflect Peckham’s unique identity The winning proposal has been designed to offer over 20,000 sq ft of artist’s studios, workshops and shared creative workspace.

As well as providing much needed creative workspace, Peckham Levels has been designed as an asset for the wider Peckham community. With the aim of integrating its members with local people, community groups and schools, the scheme includes a series of community initiatives offering free events space, training, education and employment opportunities.

The team plan to work closely with local people and community groups to continue developing the scheme’s design, ensuring the final project truly answers the community’s needs. In the coming months they will host a number of public consultations inviting local people to collaborate in the final design of the scheme.

Peckham Levels aims to create a new home for Peckham’s thriving creative community, with the proposal spread across the 6 levels of the car park:
- Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 will comprise artist’s studios, maker workshops and shared workspace for young creative businesses (47%)
- Levels 5 and 6 will provide gallery, performance and multi-purpose events space (46%), some retail space (4%) where the artistic community can promote and sell their work and food and beverage units for independent traders from the local area (3%)
The celebrated arts organisation Bold Tendencies and the famous rooftop bar Frank’s Café will continue to operate from the upper floors of the car park, the popular Peckham Plex cinema will remain on the lower levels, with the new plans transforming the intermediate levels. In collaboration with the existing tenants, the scheme will turn the Car Park into a year round hub of creative activity.

James Leay, Managing Director of Pop Community Ltd said “We look forward to working closely with our neighbours in the car park, and hope to contribute to the incredible reputation they have built for championing the arts.”

Peckham Levels is being delivered by Pop Community Ltd, a collaboration between award-winning architect Carl Turner and award-winning, lifestyle led property company The Collective. Carl is already deeply involved in the Peckham area, working closely with the community on projects including Peckham Library Square and new plans for Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts at Eagle Wharf.

Commenting on the project he said, “The car park has created an amazing platform for the arts during the summer months in Peckham, and our proposals seek to carve out spaces within the redundant middle floors of the building to extend these possibilities year round, while simultaneously providing a huge amount of much needed new creative workspace for Peckham”.

Reza Merchant, CEO of The Collective said, “We are thrilled to have won the opportunity to turn the currently unused levels of the car park into a land of opportunity for local and independent entrepreneurs, as well as creating a truly unique destination for the general public to explore and experience.”

As well as offering a new workspace, providing benefits to the wider community is one of the project’s key objectives:
- All members will be independent artists and businesses, drawn primarily from the local area.
- Members will be selected based not only on their artistic or entrepreneurial merit, but also on their commitment to contributing positively to the community around them.
- The multi-purpose event space will be available for free use by local community groups for at least 25% of the time.
- 600 jobs will be created throughout the course of the project.
- 10% of the profits will be used to create a community fund, for reinvestment into local businesses, community groups and projects.

For more information, please visit: http://www.peckhamlevels.org