Plans have been submitted to Bexley council to fully renovate the building, with funding coming from the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund (LEAP) and Peabody.
The new site will include 40 affordable creative workspaces, a café, a new day nursery, a gallery and project space as well as hosting a range of pop up stalls and market.
It will be managed by Bow Arts, now one of the largest creative workspace providers in London. If successful, the project will also include a wider partnership of events, school programmes, public art and affordable housing for cultural key workers.
Deputy mayor for culture and creative industries, Justine Simons, said the site would provide much-needed affordable space for artists.
She commented: “Not only will this exciting new partnership put culture right at the heart of the community, it will transform Thamesmead and provide vital creative workspaces and affordable housing for key cultural workers.
“A lack of affordable space is one of the biggest threats to London’s reputation as a cultural powerhouse and we need more partnerships like this. We recognise the immense value artists bring to the capital’s identity and success, and I’m delighted that we are working with Peabody and the wonderful Bow Arts to do just this.”
Bow Arts’ chief executive, Marcel Baettig, added: “It’s very exciting to land in Thamesmead and immediately become a part of such an important project such as the reimagining of the Lakeside Centre. We know the centre will become a catalyst for unlocking the talent that already exists in the area.”
If successful, the project is set to open by April 2018. It is anticipated that an announcement will be made this summer.
1. Artist’s impression of the Lakeside Centre in Thamesmead. Courtesy: Bow Arts