FAIRFIELD TO BE AT HEART OF CROYDON’S NEW CULTURAL QUARTER
A new cultural quarter planned for Croydon will help drive forward the town centre’s regeneration and breathe new life into the Fairfield Halls, say Croydon council.
Plans going to the council’s cabinet next week place the Fairfield at the heart of Croydon’s cultural offer and promise to transform it into one of the leading entertainment venues in the south of England.
Under the proposals, redeveloping College Green will be central to the cultural quarter, and provide a through route to and from East Croydon station, quickly connecting visitors with Queens Gardens, the Clocktower, Surrey Street and Exchange Square.
It is planned to integrate the Fairfield Halls into the scheme, potentially including a new entrance on the Ashcroft side of the building on to College Green.
The scheme also includes the provision of up to 500 homes, along with shops, restaurants and community and business space.
A Croydon council spokesman said: “This cultural vision supports Croydon’s growth plan, which sets out how the council will build thousands of new homes; increase the number of jobs in the borough and re-establish the town centre as London’s premier retail and leisure destination.
“A number of shorter term improvements to the Fairfield Halls are already set to be in place by autumn, including a new state-of-the-art cinema for up to 1,000 people providing a regular season of blockbuster movies and live streaming events, typical of any modern leading arts venue.
“There will also be a new studio space for regular comedy and entertainment events and a modernised Arnhem Gallery to enable the Fairfield to attract a wider range of conferences, exhibitions and events.”
Cllr Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “The new council administration is ambitious for culture in our borough.
“We are committed to delivering for Croydon. “We are excited by this project and by the works that we have already been able to enable since coming to office.
“We will deliver in partnership with the Fairfield Halls and ensure major works are completed both behind the scenes and to the public areas.
“This autumn we will be setting out clear time lines for the works to be undertaken on the Fairfield, and we are committed to being open and transparent on the project so the people of Croydon can actually see progress in the restoration of their arts complex.
“Having a vibrant cultural quarter can spearhead the wider regeneration and economic development of the town centre.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
PECKHAM AND NUNHEAD FREE FILM FESTIVAL RUNS UNTIL SUNDAY
The ten day Peckham and Nunhead free film festival – now in its fifth year – runs until Sun day by which time a variety of films will have been shown in 25 venues across SE15.
The event is organised by Free Films Festivals, a community group run by volunteers to promote free film screenings in neighbourhood venues. Three screenings took place at Gringa Dairy, Peckham Rye – where around 200 people attended, and The Montpelier showing the films The Moo Man, El Impenetrable, and Silent Comedy Classics – with live piano by Neil Brand.
There are a number of screenings left including the UK’s largest one-day African film event, ‘Welcome to Busseywood’, which will be taking place at Peckham’s Bussey Building, starting at 12pm till 10pm on Saturday (13 September).
Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, cabinet member for adult care, arts and culture said, “I am delighted that such a wide variety of films and screenings are available for people across the borough to enjoy. “This event is a great idea to bring people together from across the community and it enables them to do something fun for free in some of our wonderful venues and open spaces.”
The Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival will run until Sunday (14 September). To find out more or to view the full programme, please visit freefilmfestivals.org (Source: Southwark council press release)