Lambeth Council is working with the Brockwell Park Community Partners to consider the feasibility of Brockwell Hall as an events and wedding venue in order to raise funds for the park and building lost through the council’s culture cuts.
Lambeth Council and community group Brockwell Park Community Partners (BPCP) are considering new funding streams for Brockwell Park in the face of drastic cuts to park budgets from the council, including plans to turn Brockwell Hall into a wedding venue.
The project outlined in a recent feasibility study by Land Use Consultants (LUC) could cost up to £4m and suggests that Brockwell Hall would have “significant potential” as a venue for weddings, functions and corporate events.
LUC were commissioned by BPCP and Lambeth Council to carry out the study in line with the council’s plans to generate alternative revenue for parks following their decision to slash their funding by almost half. The council plans to hand off responsibility for park management and funding in the borough to local residents and groups such as BPCP. See a recent tweet below from Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Jane Edbrooke.
There are ambitious plans afoot for Brockwell Hall on how we preserve and maximise this lovely building pic.twitter.com/bGHfYXipCn
— Jane Edbrooke (@JaneEdbrooke) April 15, 2015
The study presents suggestions for redevelopment within and next to the Hall building, and concludes that “there is a good economic case for converting Brockwell Hall into an events venue while maintaining access for less/non commercial community events.”
The council’s proposed cuts to cultural services in the borough hits its green spaces the hardest, with money spent on parks reduced by almost 50% from £4.5 million spent in 2014/2015 to just £2.3 million proposed for 2017/18.
“The Hall needs to generate enough income to support it in the longer term as revenue funding for local councils continues to dry up,” said Ann Kingsbury, chair of the BPCP. “We commissioned the Feasibility Study to test our aim to restore the Hall and at the same time create an event venue in the stable yard…that would enable people to hold wedding parties and so on without interfering with public access.”
The study also proposed other options including a new cafe, office rental and exhibition space. The Feasibility Study reported that the potential changes to the building will not challenge the preservation of the heritage aspects of the Hall.
Current plans suggest the venue would be jointly managed by the council and BPCP, with initial funding potentially provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The approach has been well supported by all partner groups and the next step will be a public consultation.