6 Somerleyton is no more

Written by on September 11, 2015 in Community, Council, Future Brixton, News - 1 Comment
6 Somerleyton Road

Signs placed outside the locked gates of 6 Somerleyton Road in June this year

Number 6 Somerleyton Road, the former meals on wheels building used to house community projects, is to close with effect from today and will be demolished when work starts on redevelopment of the area.

There had been a history of disagreements between volunteers using the building and Brixton Green, the non-profit organisation managing it. The volunteers claimed they had been locked out and power cut off.

Now Brixton Green and the council say flood damage and safety concerns mean the building must close.

Lambeth council said options for Block Workout, whose “street gym” has been using the former loading bay since April 2014, are being explored. They include continuing to use the outdoor space or moving somewhere else.

Jack Hopkins, council cabinet member for growth and jobs said it was “a shame” that floods and damage meant early closure.

Brad Carroll of Brixton Green said: “Together we created a great space. Some nights there would be Block Workout’s packed boot camp class outside; Brixton Yoga’s classes; the London Samba School rehearsing in the main room; Aculco running their radio show; a debate on future of housing in the back room; and the dominoes club at the front. The building was truly buzzing!

“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. The Chelsea Flower Show gave us plants, the Royal Academy gave us mirrors; pupils from Hill Mead school have had music and gardening lessons; we’ve hosted opera, dance and debates, involving thousands of people.”

Other events included performances by Omar, Dennis Bovell and King Tubby and a Makerhood Design Week event.

“It wasn’t always easy,” said Carroll, “but we made a dilapidated old building into a great community space and a lot of good things have happened there.”

The council said the extent of the rainwater damage meant it was not cost effective to carry out repairs for the few weeks that the building would remain operational.

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

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