Let’s get the Royal Vauxhall Tavern listed…and saved forever

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is simply legend. There is no other word to describe it.

And we have the opportunity to protect it now and for the future. Lambeth Council recently made the RVT an ‘asset of community value’ which gives it a certain level of protection, namely that the community get first right of refusal should it be put up for sale. However this does not guarantee its future and I have seen other venues  go by the wayside with communities unable to meet asking prices and developers simply able to mothball or go ahead with sale regardless. 

RVT

That is why I’ve written to Historic England asking them to list the RVT. That would prevent the RVT from being redeveloped as has happened with other LGBT venues across London, many of them turned into flats to cash in on prime locations in central London. (This is directly as a result of ‘cutting red tape’ in planning laws which the Tories brought in. Now is not the time for party politics but I raise it to demonstrate that politics does matter in all sorts of ways, directly or indirectly) 

My Letter is here – RVT Letter

There are many reasons why buildings can be considered for listing and the guidance from the Department for Culture Media and Sport is here. The criteria to focus on for me is definitely that of “Historic Interest. To be of special historic interest a building must illustrate important aspects of the nation’s social, economic, cultural, or military history and/or have close historical associations with nationally important people. There should normally be some quality of interest in the physical fabric of the building itself to justify the statutory protection afforded by listing.”

I am certain that everyone has a story to tell about the RVT and I urge you to write to ask that the RVT is considered for listing. Please furnish with your experiences, your view on the historical importance over decades of the RVT to the LGBT community and your rationale for saving it for future generations. Please write or email your responses to:

Ms Patience Trevor
Designation Team South
Historic England
1 Waterhouse Square
138 – 142 Holborn
London
EC1N 2ST

Patience.Trevor@HistoricEngland.org.uk

Many thanks for your support – it is important so please take some time out to make a difference

Cllr Jack Hopkins – Labour Councillor for Oval ward, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Jobs & Growth and Friend of the RVT

Being a good business is also good for business

POP Brixton is not just the hottest independent business space in London, it’s a great exponent of businesses giving back and the Council using its assets to get social value for citizens alongside jobs and much needed business space

Later this month, dozens of recycled shipping containers on Pope’s Road will become home to local start-ups, small businesses and community organisations. Similar sites in other parts of London select traders based on who could pay most and are straight commercial propositions. We have taken a completely different approach. We wanted tenants with local roots, a commitment to the area and the ability to make a strong social contribution.

  
The site, which Lambeth Council has handed over without charge for the next two years, will create around 200 jobs. Crucially, 85% of the tenants are from the local area. For businesses that haven’t got a lot of money behind them, we’re levelling the playing field by providing 10 affordable units at rents 20% to 50% of the standard charge. That means the next generation of independent local entrepreneurs will be given a foot up. As such, the businesses who can pay are effectively subsidising those starting out.

Delivering jobs and employment was always our 1st priority but being able to provide social value alongside it and help support a business spirit which gives back was something we as a Council wanted to promote and encourage. Too often “giving back” is used as a fig leaf to mask bad practice by big companies. What social value means at Pop Brixton is a development that will genuinely benefit the local community – by providing Jobs, training and apprenticeships, opportunities for young entrepreneurs and ensuring that tenants ‘give something back’ by volunteering at least an hour a week to the local community.

I’d urge local people to pop down and take a look for themselves when the doors open on 29 May. They’ll see a site that has places to eat and drink, places where people make and sell jewellery, clothes and other things, a health tech hub but also spaces for training and for community organisations to share skills and ideas. The popular Impact Hub Brixton, a shared workspace with 80 hot desks for start-ups and small businesses will be moving in, as will Pop Farm – a garden and greenhouse area planted by the local community.

 This is a fantastic example where the public, private and community sectors have come together to create something that will allow local businesses to flourish and provide maximum benefit to Brixton. It’s difficult to put a price on social value but we will test and develop for the lifetime of POP so we can ensure that future developments live these ideals and new businesses coming to Brixton know that there is an expectation on them to be part of the community, not just to take advantage of Brixton’s success.