The New Year kicked off with the re-opening of the town hall in Brixton following an 18-month refurbishment to the Grade 2 listed building. Among the first events were a tea dance and a citizenship ceremony.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on 5 January to celebrate the re-opening of the Town Hall built between 1905 and 1908.
The improvements bring the building up to date with improved accessibility, more community meeting space and start up spaces for new businesses.
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The Tea Dance in the wood paneled Assembly Hall on 6 January was a sell out. Dancers were put through their ballroom, Latin and sequence dancing steps by host and DJ Mr Wonderful.
Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth council leader said: “It was a fantastic event and there was some real talent on the dancefloor. It’s wonderful to be able to host this kind of community event in the restored town hall. I hope this event will be the first of many.”
More than 50 people gathered in the Council Chamber for the group citizenship ceremony on Friday 12 January presided over by Cllr Marcia Cameron, mayor of Lambeth.
Cllr Cameron said: “It’s an honour for me to welcome our newest citizens to Lambeth. I hope that you all now go on to achieve you hopes, dreams and aspirations in this proud country.”
Certificates of naturalisation confirming British citizenship were presented to those who take part by the mayor. Among those becoming citizens were Maureen Madrid and Laurencia Kwanga.
Maureen, 27, said: “I was quite nervous ahead of the ceremony, but happy at the same time. It has been a good experience today, the staff were really helpful. Lambeth is a great place and I love how close it is to everything.”
Laurencia, 39, said: “From the beginning to the end it was a great ceremony. To see the mayor of Lambeth was amazing for me too. Getting citizenship is really important to me, and comes at the end of a really long road. I now feel like the UK is my oyster.”