FRIENDS OF THE LIVESEY MUSEUM FOR CHILDREN – NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2010
Happy New Year. This letter is to update you on the latest developments with the Livesey building and the Friends. It’s a year since the Council voted to lease the building to Theatre Peckham and progress has been slow but hopefully the Livesey Trust will soon be registered with the Charity Commission and Theatre Peckham can get cracking on the building. In the meantime some Friends have been working on other projects designed to keep the legacy of the Livesey Museum alive and we need your help to progress. Thank you for your continued support.
Liz Wilkinson, Treasurer
A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no 6557697 and registered charity no 1126001. Website: http://liveseyfriends.wordpress.com Email: email@example.com Phone: 0207 635 8790. Registered office: 50 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BL
OCCUPATION OF THE BUILDING – SEND US YOUR VIEWS?
Last week a message appeared on the Facebook site as follows:
“Enough talk! It is time for this much loved building to be returned to the local community. A group of people recently moved into the beautiful Livesey building on the Old Kent Road. They are very aware of the history of the building and the amazing campaign to save the museum from closure and they will soon be announcing an open meeting to be held sometime over the weekend of 6th and 7th February. There will be an open invite for local people to come together and discuss their dreams and visions for the use of this space and together they can begin the practical steps needed to make these become a reality. We hope that you will support this initiative and come along to get involved. If you want to get in touch before the meeting then please email:firstname.lastname@example.org”
Southwark Council have confirmed that the Livesey building has been occupied and that they are currently addressing this. This group are nothing to do with us and the posting on the Facebook site was the first we knew of this. We have written to the occupiers explaining that the building has been promised to Theatre Peckham and that this will go ahead as soon as the Livesey Trust is finalised by the Charity Commission.
We have received some further information from the occupiers which states:
“We want to reassure you that nobody involved in this occupation would want this initiative to stop the building being re-opened in an official capacity as long as it is for a community use as George Livesey intended, however we think that two years is much too long for this building to be empty and unused. It could have been used productively by the local community for the past two years while the negotiations went on and we believe that while the next stage of the transition comes to fruition, we can open up the space and use it productively alongside the local community.”
We will post any further information about this and the occupier’s public meeting on our website. We will try to go to the meeting if it happens so please let us know your views so that we can represent your opinions fully. What do you think? Email us on email@example.com
THEATRE PECKHAM – PROGRESS
We spoke to Suzy Smith, Executive Director of Theatre Peckham recently and she has told us:
“With the support of Southwark Council (who funded part of the feasibility), Theatre Peckham are carrying out a feasibility study into how much it will cost to renovate, fit out and run the building as a Performing Arts Education Space”
The results will be reported to the Theatre Peckham board in March and they’ll be able to update us with more information then.
CHARITY COMMISSION – THANK YOU TO ALL WHO RESPONDED
Thank you to everyone who responded to the Charity Commission about the draft scheme as for Southwark to be removed as sole trustee of the Livesey Building and replaced with a mixed board of councillors and local residents. The response was sufficient to make the Commission go back Southwark to ask them to reconsider the composition of the Board of Trustees. We understand that Southwark has now responded to the Charity Commission and we are waiting to hear the outcome. We’ll post the news on the website as soon as we hear.
A NEW LIVESEY MUSEUM AT NEW CROSS GATE?
We recently met with New Cross Gate Partnership to discuss the possibility of a new home for a Livesey style museum in their new NDC centre at New Cross Gate. The Centre will include GP Surgery, gym and other complimentary health uses, café, creche and multipurpose space. The main space identified for a Livesey-style facility is a 650 sqm area spec’d as a library and other uses. Although not in Southwark it is only 750m away from the old Livesey. Hence it can be easily accessible to people who used to use the Livesey.
The existing New Cross Library will occupy some of the space and the Partnership are looking for something else that will make it a ‘destination’. There is currently no earmarked funding for this additional fit out so any proposals would need to earn some revenue or be funded. Bridget McKenzie (a founder Friend) and her company Flow Associates are hoping to work for the Friends, with the NXG Partnership, on a feasibility study for such a development. The Partnership have offered matched funding for this study. They propose to commission a project with young people called “Grow Your Own Museum”, which will form part of the study. (See below.)
HOW TO SPEND £15K – SEND US YOUR VIEWS
We have received £15k in funding in response to some applications made during 2008, when the future of the building was uncertain. We were going to use this money for a Livesey style project solely with the Fire Brigade Museum in Southwark but there was a delay in progress, during which time the opportunity to work with the NXG Partnership arose. We have identified 2 possible uses for the money which are:
To give it to Theatre Peckham to be promote public access to the Livesey building when it is renovated, for example by supporting a project for young people in the Garden. We would not need to give the money to Theatre Peckham straight away but could hold it in reserve until the redevelopment of the Livesey building has made some progress; OR
To use the money for “Grow Your Own Museum” which involves working with local schools to develop creative learning resources that can feed a new Livesey or, if this does not materialise, stay in the schools. This will form part of the feasibility for the new facility in New Cross Gate but will also be a stand-alone project. It will make links with local museums, including the Fire Brigade Museum. It could be used as a demonstrator to help to raise funds for future similar projects. The Friends will commission people experienced in such work to carry it out.
Please tell us which project you prefer as we need to respond to NXG Partnership with their offer of funding. Or perhaps you have other ideas? These could relate to the Livesey building or could be educational projects designed to keep the legacy of the Livesey alive and ideally to benefit the people, and especially the children, who have lost out as a result of the Livesey closing.
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