Southwark Creates newsletter

Southwark Presents /  Southwark Creates / September 2020 Southwark Creates artwork
Welcome to the October edition of theSouthwark Creates newsletter

Firstly, congratulations to South London Gallery for their success on being named joint winners of Art Fund Museum of the Year, and to the Guyana-born Southwark-based British artist Frank Bowling, choreographer Siobhan Davies and the chair of Mountview Vikki Heywood who have respectively been awarded a knighthood and damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020. The last week has also brought the welcome news that 55 organisations in Southwark have been awarded grants from the Culture Recovery Fund.  

We wish Southwark Park Galleries and the Drawing Room the best of luck as they reopen this month. As more cultural organisations start to re-open in Southwark we will be shining a spotlight on the amazing work taking place behind the scenes. If you would like to share your experiences of this process in the next newsletter please do let us know.

In the meantime, Arts Council England have taken a look at the hugely positive contribution that the creative industries and the cultural sector make to the UK economy by commissioning three new research pieces by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) and Metrodynamics. Read the full story here.

Black History Month 2020 provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the achievements, contributions and histories of Black people in the UK and around the world. This year we have supported 33 local organisations/artists to produce a wide range of events and activities from a digital patchwork quilt and poems by prize-winning poet Jenny Mitchell to interdisciplinary live-streamed concerts showcasing Black British musicians. Read more here.

If you have a specific query or are looking for further support please contact the Culture Team via email We’re here to help!


Get involved

Join the Centre for Cultural Value’s online festival of ideas 2-13 November. Ten days of free online events, probing and questioning the value of culture through a series of discussions, debates and hands-on workshops. Read more and sign up here.

#HereForCulture campaign has launched to help support Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries. Please support and show you are #HereForCulture by sharing the assets in this toolkit across your social media channels.

The Audience Agency – Digital Audience Survey. A new free survey to give you a comparative snapshot of your digital audiences as you adapt your online offer. Request a digital audience survey here.


Creative Network Southwark – A network of individuals and organisations working in the creative sector in Southwark, run by Community Southwark. Check out the website for details on the next meeting.

Rye Here Rye Now – A Peckham-based meet up, for graphic designers, illustrators, design thinkers, photographers, filmmakers, artists and other creatives. Check out the website for details on the next meeting.

Outdoor Arts UK provides an informal sector network weekly drop-in, plus one to ones with a member of the Outdoor Arts UK team are available. Read more.

Visit Southwark Creates / Networking for more opportunities


Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that enables new work by disabled artists to reach UK and international audiences. Deadline 27 October. Find out more here.

The Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas is intended for independent cinemas across England whose businesses have been unavoidably interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadline 30 October 2020. Find out more here.

Garfield Weston Foundation has announced a £25m one-off fund to support museums, performing and visual arts organisations across the UK. Deadline 9 November 2020. Find out more here.

The Architectural Heritage Fund announces a new £1 million grant programme to support charities and social enterprises occupying historic buildings to develop new business plans and strategies in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Deadline 9 November 2020. Find out more here

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has reopened the Teacher Development Fund (TDF) for applications. Grants of up to £150K for primary schools working together with arts & cultural organisations. Deadline 20 November 2020. Find out more here.

Arts Council England Developing your Creative Practice is for individuals who are cultural and creative practitioners and want to take time to focus on their creative development. If you’re thinking of taking your practice to the next stage, DYCP can help by supporting research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing ideas, networking or mentoring. Find out more here

Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants reopened for applications, with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. The fund will focus on the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners. Find out more here.

Visit Southwark Creates / Funding for more opportunities

Business support

Southwark Council provides support and information for businesses and employers on the Council’s website. To contact the Council about support available or issues affecting your business, please email

Guidance on working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) for employers, workers and the self-employed Read more. 

Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are. Read more.

NHS app and test and trace Businesses and venues that are already required to collect visitor details for test and trace must also by law display NHS QR codes for visitors using the new NHS app. If your business collects test and trace data, please read the FAQs about what is required and use this tool to generate your QR code posters.

Visit Southwark Creates / Business Support for more opportunities

Training and short courses

Visit the Council’s Stay-at-Home Library of Things To Do to discover a range of online learning activities. There are also lots of one-off short courses being delivered online and virtual courses via the Adult Learning Centre.

Start-ups in London Libraries.  Free workshops developing your business idea to marketing masterclasses, check out the courses running in October. Sign up here.

UAL Creative Computing Institute. Learn new skills, pursue your interests or advance your career with short online courses. From constructing your own video games to designing a feminist chatbot. Check out the free courses and sign up here.

Stride makes space for creativity and innovation to thrive in South London. They create opportunity, develop talent and support creative and tech enterprises. Be the first to know about Stride programmes and initiatives. Sign up here.

Visit Southwark Creates / Talent Development for more opportunities

Southwark Stands Together. The report is now available to downlod here. The section on Culture begins on page 12 and the sectionon Reinventing and Renewing the Public Realm begins on page 18. You may also be interested in reading about the updated Council Plan, which is available online here.

New Covid-19 planning guidance published for UK festivals. Includes contributions from across the festival industry working in collaboration with DCMS and Public Health England. Read more.

Jobs and opportunities

Engagement Curator (Maternity Cover). The Drawing Room is seeking an Engagement Curator, a position funded by the Bridget Riley Art Foundation, to lead their ground-breaking programme which aims to make both the practice of drawing and the appreciation of drawings accessible to a diverse audience. Deadline 20 October 2020. Read more and apply here.

The Michael O’Pray Prize, is a Film and Video Umbrella initiative, in partnership with Art Monthly for new writing on innovation and experimentation in the moving image. The prize is open to all early-career writers based in the UK . Deadline 22 October 2020. Reed more and apply here.

Interim Youth & Adult Learning Officer. South London Theatre is looking for someone to kick-start their adult learning programme and re-invigorate their youth group. 6 month contract 21 hours/week £18/hour, includes Saturdays during term times. Deadline 21 October 2020. Read more and apply here.

Siobhan Davies Studios are offering artist support to dance artists, choreographers and others working in the dance sector. Sessions for October have now been released. Find out more.

Creative Bursaries for Southwark Students – Ten new Bursaries o£2,500 each for academic year 2020/21 for Southwark secondary students to study at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL and London College of Communication, UAL. In partnership with University of the Arts London (UAL), these Bursaries are provided by Southwark Council. To register your interest, please email and UAL’s Student Funding Service will contact all students who have completed the enrolment process in October 2020.

Help keep Southwark safe

Southwark Council is monitoring the COVID-19 infection rates on a daily basis and our numbers are increasing. It is still a threat and we all need to do all we can to prevent the spread of this virus and protect
our family, friends and communities. A high proportion of new cases are for people aged 18–34. We also know that most transmission is still amongst family and friends.

If you’re visiting family or going out with friends you must:
keep your distance from other people at all
a face covering in shops and on public transport
wash your hands regularly.

Get a test as soon as possible if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste). You must also self-isolate, as should members of your household and anyone in your support bubble.


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Contact us
Southwark Council
Culture and Events Team
PO Box 64529
London SE1 5LX

VAWG (violence against women and girls Consultation

The Safer Communities Team is seeking the views and experiences of service users/survivors of all forms of VAWG (violence against women and girls). This will help them shape future services from April 2022.

As part of this process, an online survey is now live on the consultation hub via the following link:

I ask that you complete if you can. The closing date is Monday 5 October, 20.

Judy Wills

Empowering Communities Programme Officer

North West Area (Borough & Bankside, Chaucer, London Bridge & West Bermondsey and St George’s)

Communities Division| Environment & Leisure Department

160 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QH

COVID-19: cases are rising in Southwark

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident

Support the shopping centre traders!

Dear Friend

Just a quick email saying that tomorrow (Friday 24 July) Latin Elephant are launching a social media campaign around #MyElephantMasks, as they become compulsory.

Latin Elephant have produced 100 of their own masks and will be distributing them at the Shopping Centre, 11am, to send a positive message from a strong united community, fighting Covid and redevelopment.

All are welcome to join us!

Also, please help us and promote using Twitter hashtags; keep your eye out for these hashtags from tomorrow:



Complete Southwark Council’s survey about racial inequality and injustice

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident,

Update on lockdown changes in Southwark

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident,

VE Day special plus new mental health support for young people

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident,

Although it might not be what we had all planned for the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, there is definitely a feeling of excitement about VE Day tomorrow. Whether we have a sense that we are living through a similar time, or we just need to focus on something positive, I know lots of us are looking forward to the bank holiday and the low-key celebrations planned for the day. I hope you all have a lovely VE Day at home, and if you need some ideas have a look at our VE Day guide.

Looking after your mental health

Inevitably at a time like this, there are highs and lows, and not everyone will be feeling happy this weekend or in the weeks to come. Feeling low, stressed and anxious are common feelings, and during the COVID-19 pandemic you might find that you are finding things harder than usual. We want you to know that you are not alone and help is available.

Our webpages include helpful information from the NHS and others including:

I’m delighted that this week we also launched our brand new support service, called The Nest, for children and young people aged 13–25 in Southwark. It offers free and confidential mental wellbeing support. Social distancing requirements meant plans for our landmark children’s mental health hub quickly changed. This vital and timely new service has opened as an online and phone-line support service and the face-to-face support service, based in Peckham, will open when it is safe to do so.

Finally, if you, or someone you know, is in a mental health crisis, please contact SLAM’s 24-hour support line on 0800 731 2864 or find more advice on the SLAM NHS website.

I wish you all the very best and thank you again for your ongoing support.

Cllr Peter John

Highlights from our stay-at-home library

Involve the whole family in learning about VE Day

Explore online resources and activities to mark VE Day such as Adventures in History with the Imperial War Museum a weekly video series introducing real life wartime experiences like those of Kitty Baxter who spent nights in a communal bomb shelter in Camberwell with her family, or become an expert on local history with some fascinating reading material on WWII from the Local History Archive.

Join Baby Rhyme Time online

Sing along with your local librarians at the Libraries’ weekly Baby Rhyme Time sessions on Zoom.

Connect and create with Dragon Café

Join the weekly Zoom group for a new creative project each week plus the chance to share your thoughts, poems, recipes, stories or just the view from your window.

Live art workshops

Take inspiration from nature that you can see from your window, and learn new drawing techniques with live art workshops from Art in the Park.

Superarts online dance classes

Get moving with low-cost dance classes for the whole family, brought to your living room by Southwark based dance company Superarts.

Help us capture this moment in history!

Help us capture this moment in Southwark’s history for the archives. From records of mutual aid groups to personal diaries and photographs, please get in touch with our Local history Library and Archives service if you’d like to donate something:

GPs are still available during the COVID-19 pandemic

Doctors in Southwark are reminding patients they should still contact their GP surgery if they need to consult a doctor or nurse about their usual health issues or new physical or mental health problems during this pandemic.

Are you worried about domestic abuse?

If you or someone you know is suffering from Domestic Abuse, isolation rules do not apply. Police response and support services remain available. Nationally, there is advice and support available but you should call 999 if you are in immediate danger. Locally, the Solace Advocacy and Support Service is also available to women and men in Southwark aged 16 or over in Southwark.

35% Campaign update – The harsh reality of relocation for shopping centre trader

The harsh reality of relocation for shopping centre traders

Apr 23, 2020 12:00 am

Law centre survey shows that nearly half of traders have nowhere to go -The Southwark Law Centre (SLC) has written to Southwark Council, detailing the shortcomings of the relocation of the independent traders from the Elephant & Castle shopping centre, prior to its demolition on 31 July 2020. The letter is supported by Latin Elephant and Up the Elephant, which includes the 35% Campaign.

SLC’s letter supplies Southwark with the details of a survey of traders about the relocation, conducted just before the Coronavirus lockdown. This ‘snapshot’ survey of ten traders shows that 4 had not been offered a relocation space and the remaining six were offered the spaces that were inadequate, mainly because they were too small, but also because they were in poor locations for attracting trade and had no space for storage or for displaying their goods.

The letter also criticises the traders’ appointed business advisor, Tree Shepherd, for a lack of appropriate support, particularly during the lockdown. The relocation fund is described as not fit for purpose and the relocation database of limited value. It regrets that Southwark approved using CPO powers on Delancey’s behalf without any increase to the Delancey relocation fund.

The letter also notes that work on completing Castle Square had stopped and asks how this will impact on the traders’ relocation. This is one of the four relocation sites and due to open in June – but work has stopped as a result of the coronavirus crisis:

The letter acknowledges that Southwark is not able to control the wider economic circumstances, but nonetheless calls on them to give stronger and more effective support to the traders.

Loyalty not repaid

All the trader respondents to SLC survey come from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, the longest serving trader having been at the Elephant for 22 years, while the longest serving trader not offered relocation space has been there 15 years; all ten traders together clock up over 115 years at the shopping centre.

In their survey comments all the respondents say the same thing – that more money is needed, and more space, and if the space cannot be found then compensation should be offered.

Relocation applications rejected

The SLC survey is a relatively small, but its finding that 4 out of 10 traders have no place to go is mirrored by the much larger and earlier research of Latin Elephant/petit elephant. This has tracked the fate of nearly a hundred businesses, since December 2018 and estimated that only 40 would be relocated, a prediction that now appears to be confirmed by Southwark Council in its own assessment of the relocation process. This states that while there have been 64 applications for three of the four main relocation sites, only 36 have been successful, with 28 rejected1. Southwark gives no explanation for this, or says anything about what exactly it expects these 28 businesses to do. The fourth site, Elephant Park, has had one successful application out of 52.

Public support for development falls

Southwark prefers to emphasise the increasing confidence traders are said to have, that they will be able to at least remain trading, by reference to an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA). This is cited as evidence that the so-called mitigation measures are working, despite the 28 rejected relocation applications. The EIA also reveals the embarrassing fact that public support for the shopping centre redevelopment from 67% in 2016 to 42% today, mainly because of concern ‘about what will happen to businesses currently in the shopping centre’. The proposed remedy is to continue the well-meaning, but now hardly appropriate ‘Follow The Herd’ publicity campaign.

Crisis response needed

As we reported in our last blogpost Southwark has approved a welcome £200,000 in support of traders, agreed before the Coronavirus lockdown. Separately, Southwark has also launched a Business Hardship Fund of £2m, aimed at all the borough’s 10,000 microbusinesses.

But otherwise Southwark’s latest report on the progress of the shopping centre redevelopment takes no account of the entirely new, desperate circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic. This could be excused as it is dated 24 March, the first day of the lockdown, but was not considered until 7 April, two weeks after lockdown, without any amendment or addendum, that recognised the new trading situation.

The report also gives no figures for any amount of money actually paid out to traders, from any source.

Support traders, not Delancey

Southwark has done Delancey the huge favour of adopting CPO powers and leasing both the shopping centre and the LCC, to override residents legal rights. While Southwark claim that is at nearly nil cost to itself, it will be of considerable financial benefit to Delancey, who would not otherwise have been able to secure the necessary funding for their redevelopment scheme3.

Southwark did this without insisting that Delancey improve its own support for traders. The relocation fund remains the meagre £634,700, agreed nearly 2 years ago, at planning committee. Delancey also still insist on closing the centre on the 31 July, with some minor concessions and despite the SE1 survey that showed 72% of local people want the centre kept open.

Over the past 3 years and more the shopping centre traders have been fighting a hugely unequal battle to keep their businesses going, while the centre has been rundown and trade blighted. Now is the time for Southwark to start giving the level of support it has been giving Delancey. It must get cash to traders for their immediate survival. It must tell Delancey it will not be using its CPO powers on its behalf, until all the traders are either relocated or suitably compensated and that there must be no centre closure until this is done.

You can support us in our fight for fairness for traders, by sharing these hashtags;

#supporttradersnotdelancey #supportelephantnotdelancey #ElephantJR.


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35% Campaign update – Shopping centre CPO – Southwark ploughs on regardless

Shopping centre CPO – Southwark ploughs on regardless

Apr 04, 2020 12:00 am

Southwark exercises CPO powers to clear E&C shopping centre site for Delancey -Southwark Council is set to assume Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers, on behalf of offshore developer Delancey, at its Cabinet meeting this Tues 7 April (postponed from 24 March). While this extraordinary move will strengthen Delancey’s hand in ongoing negotiations with various development stakeholders, such as TfL, and will relieve Delancey of funding risks, the scheme itself remains unchanged, delivering only 116 social rented units and displacing traders wholesale.

The Cabinet meeting is also set to approve a report that will override local residents’ legal rights, for the loss of light caused by the redevelopment. A third report will approve the recently announced £200,000 relocation assistance for traders.

The meeting will be by videoconference, but no livestream is advertised.

As we reported in our last blogpost Southwark intends to lease both the shopping centre and London College of Communications buildings themselves. Subleasing arrangements will return the shopping centre and LCC back to the control of Delancey and University of the Arts London, but as nominal public property, residents legal ‘right-to-light’ options can be overridden. Residents will no longer be able to seek an injunction against the development (while remaining able to claim compensation). Southwark say that there will be no cost to the Council from their leasing arrangements, other than officer time, but the report supplies no figures.

No guarantee that scheme will be built anyway

Southwark’s extraordinary measures illustrate its determined support for Delancey’s redevelopment of the shopping centre, despite the shortfall in social rented housing provided and the mass displacement of traders. Local charity and advocate for all traders Latin Elephant estimates that over half still have nowhere to go.

Southwark’s unwavering support extends as far as neglecting to obtain a guarantee from Delancey that the scheme will go ahead, even with the CPO powers being exercised on their behalf, saying ‘it is not necessary to impose… an obligation to build the Scheme as the measures negotiated for inclusion in the indemnity agreement give the Council comfort that EC is likely to proceed with the Scheme.’ 1

72% say keep the centre open

The proposed measures follow a survey conducted by the SE1 news website that shows 72% of local people want the centre kept open, in the light of the Coronavirus public health crisis. In response Delancey reiterated that they still intend to close the shopping centre on 31 July, while waiving rent and service charges (a long-standing traders’ demand) and promising to making pharmacy and food supplies available, beyond then, if the public health crisis continues.

What we say…

The Up the Elephant Campaign, supported by the 35% Campaign, has consistently opposed Delancey’s shopping centre redevelopment scheme, since its inception, over 3 years ago. We support the ongoing legal challenge to quash Delancey’s planning permission.

Over time various concessions, dragged out of Delancey by campaigners, have made marginal improvements to the redevelopment. Southwark’s pledge of £200,000 for the traders is also welcome; it now urgently needs to be distributed as cash grants to traders. Nonetheless, Delancey’s scheme still remains a bad one. Delancey are displacing an entire community of traders, and destroying a social hub for the many working people from all over the world who have made the Elephant their home. The new development will have a miserly 116 social rented homes, out of nearly a thousand new units (if they ever get delivered).

So, Southwark Council should not be bending over backwards helping Delancey, in any circumstances – certainly not now, when half the traders still have nowhere to go, while Southwark has an obligation to help secure traders accommodation in the new development it never properly exercised. We do not need to add that the traders’ desperate situation has been rendered dire by the Coronavirus crisis.


You can support us in our fight for fairness for traders, by sharing these hashtags; #supporttradersnotdelancey #supportelephantnotdelancey #ElephantJR.

Or by lobbying the Councillors approving the decision directly:

  1. See para 76 Report: E&C CPO 

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