General Projects vision seeks to restore the buildings as employment space for the creative industries, arts and a community hub. It will provide a mix of studio workspaces and co-working through a membership system, designed around a new arts and community hub and cafe. Public access is proposed through a designated ‘Society Room’, meeting room and resident studio complemented by programmed events, workshops and private hire opportunities.
In summary the proposal includes:
- A new entrance onto Walworth Square leading to a public coffee shop/bar with restaurant located on the corner of Walworth Road and the square
- A new publically accessible central covered courtyard with circulation core. The space will be available for a rotating display of the Cuming Collection on loan and to be accessed for free.
- An arts hub with workshops and lecture hall in the former Library lower ground
- Recording and photographic studio, creative offices, maker studios and co-working spaces
- The council chamber and former reference library available for private hire and not for profit organisations in the evenings and weekends
- A community, arts and culture space operating for free on the ground floor of the former adults and children’s library with a management plan for operation
- A need for approximately 20 full time building employees, and that around 370 people will be based on site once the building is fully occupied.
There is significant information available on the condition of the buildings which was produced by the council while formulating its own redevelopment plan that has been made available. All proposals are subject to planning permission, listed building consent and other approvals as required.