By Melissa Kasule
A historic former social club that has been closed for 15 years will open its doors again with a new and improved look after securing a £1.5 million fund.
The former Moorings Social Club in Thamesmead is to reopen as a community space after Greenwich council granted planning permission for major improvements.
Housing association Peabody has worked with the community over the past two years to reimagine what the club, originally designed by architect Stephen Moorin, could become.
Residents’ ideas for a café, museum, workspaces and rooms for hire are now set to become a reality with funding from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.
The new space will be used for events and activities as well as providing quiet workspaces with free Wi-Fi available.
Other improvements also include a refurbished roof terrace, reinstating the great hall, new windows and upgrading the appearance of the building, while also reflecting the original design.
People will be able to decide the new name of the refurbished building through a competition soon to launch by Peabody.
Residents will also be able to get involved with the internal work such as decoration, signage and the creation of the museum.
The works by artist-in-residence and lead artist on the design team, Verity-Jane Keefe, will be displayed throughout the building. A photographic collage showing local people by the artist was the first piece to be unveiled on a hoarding outside the building.
Verity-Jane said: “The collage was conceived as a celebration of the residents and wider community of the Moorings and the former social club. It features local people and gives a hint of the type of activity that could happen when the building is open.”
“Hoardings are normally selling something – a lifestyle or type of space, so I wanted this to be dripping in energy and life. The reopening of a community space, post Covid-19 feels more urgent now more than ever. The artwork being installed feels like the first visible real step.”
Works to the building are expected to start in Spring 2021 and be completed by Autumn 2021.
Pictured top: From left, Kate Batchelor, Peabody head of landscape and placemaking, Cllr Averil Lekau, Cllr Olu Babatola, Cllr Sizwe James, artist-in-residence and design team lead artist Verity-Jane Keefe, and Fiona Hamilton, Thamesmead communities facilities manager
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