Livesey Exchange is a project in the making. It seeks to create workshops, spaces for skill development and cultural programmes on Old Kent Road.
Named after the Victorian industrialist George Livesey – who set up a quasi-cooperative energy company, the South London Gasworks, off the Old Kent Road –Livesey Exchange is a new cultural destination for Old Kent Road, designed and led by local residents.
Livesey Exchange will be an important new piece of social infrastructure, enlivening a section of the high street currently characterised by car-park-based retail. Through its mix of accessible social, cultural and work spaces, it will serve to support the local community as the neighbourhood, a designated Opportunity Area, undergoes major change; including the addition of approximately 20,000 new homes.
Livesey Exchange is a team effort and demonstrates how local government, the GLA, local people and private companies can come together to fund and deliver new neighbourhood projects. Started at the Ledbury Estate in 2006, this grassroots project was initiated by community enabler Nicholas Okwulu of Pempeople and developed with architects what if: projects. The programme evolved through collaboration with local residents, businesses and stakeholders over several years of engagement events and workshops held to ascertain local aspirations.
Livesey Exchange is currently awaiting planning permission and will be constructed on a currently vacant site owned by Southwark Council. It is scheduled to open in 2021 and any prospective tenants will be expected to contribute to a programme of skills development aimed at members of the local community, particularly young people.
The Livesey Exchange diary page provides more information about how the project evolved since 2006. Please note that this website is currently being updated (April/May 2020)
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