Construction has begun to convert the Grade II-listed former Peckham Road Fire Station into a huge new exhibition space for the South London Gallery.
The project got off the ground after the building was donated to the South London Gallery (SLG) by a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous.
The new gallery is on track to open in 2018. Margot Heller, director of the SLG said: “The exceptionally generous gift of the fire station and support of our funders will be truly transformative for the SLG.
“Our expansion into this distinctive building will enable us to undertake a major step change in the scope and impact of our artistic and education programmes, championing the importance of art, culture, and public space that is free to all at a time of rapid change in the local area.”
The Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund pledged £4m, and fundraising from local groups and charities also contributed £3.3m. £1.65m also came from the National Lottery.
The grant will help to restore the building and develop a programme of activities, and volunteering scheme which will focus on expanding the SLG’s archive to document the social, economic and cultural history of the local area.
The Fire Station will extend the scope of the gallery’s exhibition, events and education activities.
The SLG is now embarking on the final stage of its fundraising campaign to secure the final £700,000 for restoration costs.