Council to underwrite cost of Cherry Groce memorial

The proposed pavilion looking west
Computer generated image of the memorial in Windrush Square

Lambeth council is to underwrite more than £80,000 of the cost of the Cherry Groce memorial in Brixton’s Windrush Square.

A council report says the total cost, including £10,000 for an opening ceremony, will be more than £150,000, but that the organisers of the memorial are £81,749.24 short of the total cost of £151,163.24 because of challenging economic conditions created by the pandemic.

The money, if needed, would come from a combination of section 106 receipts from developers and receipts from the community infrastructure levy.

It is proposed that the Cherry Groce Foundation will make “best endeavours” to repay these costs over time.

The report says that maintenance, repair and renewal of the memorial would become a “small unfunded call” on the council’s parks’ revenue budget.

The foundation charity announced plans to raise funds for the memorial to Cherry Groce in September last year.

The plan is to unveil it on 28 September this year, marking the 35th anniversary of the shooting of Mrs Groce in her home by a Metropolitan Police officer.

The shooting sparked the 1985 Brixton riots in which a young photographer, David Hodge, was killed.

Cherry Groce, despite being confined to a wheel chair and in pain, became an inspirational figure locally.

The architectural practice Adjaye Associates to design has designed and will manage the project.

The practice is also responsible for plans for a 19-storey office block on Pope’s Road.

In February this year, the council hosted a fundraising event, securing the £115,000-worth of pledages outlined below and undertook to help the foundation “land” those from its suppliers.

  • Lambeth Council £70,000
  • Pinnacle £10,000
  • Metropolitan Police £20,000
  • Lambeth Council/Engie – Social Fund £7,000
  • Capita £5,000
  • Breyer Group £2,000
  • Future Gov £1,500.

The council report says the challenging economic climate caused by the pandemic has resulted in the foundation’s fundraising efforts failing to raise sufficient donations.

As of 25 May 2020, the amount of donations received by the charity totalled £9,414. 

Remaining donations will be deposited directly with the council.

The report estimates that maintaining the memorial will cost it £265 a year.