Walworth Town Hall memorial garden reopens following fire

Josh Salisbury (10 September, 2018) Culture

Three groups have been invited to submit proposals for the town hall

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The memorial garden outside Walworth Town Hall has been re-opened following a fire in 2013.

The green space along Walworth Road had been hidden behind hoarding that went up around the town hall following the blaze, preventing visitors to its WW2 memorial stone.

A Southwark Council and Walworth Society partnership – with support from Lendlease – have replanted the garden and moved the hoardings to allow visitors to the garden and memorial.

Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, development and planning, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to bring this little haven of reflection and peace back into use for local people.”

It comes as three groups have been invited to submit ideas to revitalise the town hall.

Arts and Culture groups, Forge Partnership, General Projects and Milligan Creative Trade, have all been invited by the council to propose ideas for the space while maintaining public access.

Mr Situ said he believed “the three we have chosen will offer a strong and sustainable option to bring this historic building back into use.”

He added: “I look forward to seeing their full proposals and ensuring this building is brought back in to use for the local community as soon as possible.”

The Grade II listed building, which was home to the Newington Library and Cuming Museum, has been empty since it was gutted by the fire five years ago.

Originally Southwark council put forward a £20m plan for a community space in the hall – but the plans were shelved after it was revealed the cost of construction and development had shot up.

The three proposals have to be submitted to the council by November, following with a public consultation.

The final decision will be made in spring 2019.

The building, first built in 1865, has previously been the home of council offices and a one-stop shop.

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