Plans to revamp a market in Bermondsey include a new cinema and food hall for local traders.
Really Local Group and Southwark council are working together to create a high street “cultural venue that aims to restore an iconic landmark at The Blue”.
Vacant former furniture store Thorowgoods will be converted into a three-screen cinema, where the average ticket price will be £6.50.
The “all-day community space” will also include a coffee shop, café, bar, co-working spaces, and a food and craft hall.
Preston Benson, founder of Really Local Group, which was behind Catford Mews in Lewisham, said: “We are very excited to enhance the cultural infrastructure offer in a borough with an established craft and music heritage.
“Working with Southwark council, we hope to be able to curate a new ‘cultural quarter’ for the town and secure collaboration opportunities with local independent businesses, artisans and traders.”
Councillor Leo Pollak, cabinet member for new homes, great estates and social regeneration, said: “After years of working to improving the mix of shops and stalls at the Blue, and intervening on the sale of Thorowgoods, we are hugely proud to have secured a three screen cinema, community events and exhibition space and an affordable food market showing the best of local producers.
“We were greatly impressed by Really Local Group’s approach, and I’m confident this will become a major new arts centre for the north of the borough, and a game-changer for the Blue.
“This not only underscores our commitment to healthy thriving high streets across the borough, but the importance of municipal interventions high streets that need a ‘curatorial’ steer while getting the tone balance and affordability right.
“Bring on the summer of 2021.”
It’s hoped the project will increase footfall to 5,000 people on weekends.
The proposal is subject to approval by the cabinet, and planning approval.
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.