NewsSouthwark

Damilola Taylor memorial to be set in centre of new ‘Peckham Square’

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A memorial for murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor, who was stabbed to death 23 years ago, is set to be at the centre of a new square.

Southwark council is in talks with a charity to create an art tribute for Damilola in the centre of Peckham.

The 10-year-old was stabbed in the leg and left to die in an apartment block stairwell on the North Peckham estate in 2000.

Damilola, who had recently moved to London from Nigeria, was on his way home from Peckham Library at the time.

The area next to Peckham Library which will be remodelled to become Peckham Square under council plans (Picture: Southwark council)

The council is working on plans for the memorial with the Hope Collective, a charity set up in memory of Damilola, to help young people.

The memorial will form part of a £6million council project to remodel an area around Peckham High Street and Peckham Library.

Southwark council announced on June 1 that it had appointed a new team of architects to bring forward the square’s revamp.

Graeme Massie Architects and Scott Whitby Studio will take over from Spheron Architects, which controversially released a concept design of the square which didn’t feature Peckham Arch in 2021.

A final decision on the future of the 28-year-old arch has still yet to be announced but Southwark council said a detailed survey of its condition had been undertaken.

The council said the results of that survey would inform future design options for the square.

The council has also revealed that 91-93 Peckham High Street, which backs onto the square, will become the new home for arts charity Peckham Platform.

A planning application for the restoration of the building is expected to be submitted in summer.

Meanwhile, Peckham Library will reopen in the next couple of months following a refurbishment. The library has been shut since December 2022 for essential maintenance, with new computers and furniture being fitted.

The planned Damilola Taylor memorial will sit just a five-minute walk from another sculpture erected in his memory at his former school, Oliver Goldsmith Primary School in Camberwell.

The sculpture, which depicts a phoenix taking flight and symbolises hope rising from tragedy, was unveiled in 2002.

Southwark councillor Catherine Rose, said: “The library square is the beating heart of Peckham, bringing local people together across all communities.

“We are thrilled to be working with design teams who mirror these inclusive values with strong personal links to Peckham itself. The result will be spaces and buildings that meet local people’s needs while reflecting Peckham’s unique identity.”

Pictured top: Damilola Taylor (Picture: PA)

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