Wanted: cultural tenant for new home in Nine Elms

Cultural organisations are invited to pitch for a new permanent residence in the heart of Nine Elms. 

The 750 square metre cultural space will become available in Embassy Gardens from 2019, and will be offered on reduced terms thanks to a legal agreement between the site’s owner, EcoWorld Ballymore and Wandsworth Council.

Applications are welcome from any number of organisations who work in the arts, and bids from any art form or creative discipline will be considered provided they make good use of the space. Organisations wishing to use all or just part of the space, or who express interest in partnership with others, are also welcome to apply.

Bidders are also encouraged to explain how they will work with local communities and engage existing arts and cultural groups through collaborative programming.

The Embassy Gardens cultural space will be located on Ponton Road in Nine Elms, next to the new US Embassy and its surrounding business quarter and the new Nine Elms Park.  The space will benefit from high levels of footfall, with the embassy alone expected to attract around 2,500 visitors a day. The area’s two new Northern Line Tube stations open in 2020 and tech giant Apple expects to occupy its nearby ‘campus’ the following year.

On offer is a site across two floors, lending itself to a variety of programming activity, on a 25-year lease at a peppercorn rent.  The lease will be retained and managed by EcoWorld Ballymore who will also work collaboratively with the cultural organisation on a basic fit-out of the space to suit their needs.  EcoWorld Ballymore will also contribute an additional budget toward meanwhile cultural programming around Embassy Gardens for the first couple of years.

The new venue is one of several new creative spaces secured by Wandsworth Council as part of an area-wide cultural development strategy for Nine Elms.

Recently established cultural anchors in Nine Elms include the Royal College of Art’s StudioRCA at Riverlight, and Battersea Arts Centre is partnering with Battersea Power Station to deliver a new Village Hall community space which opens later this year.

The wider Nine Elms and Vauxhall area is already enjoying a blossoming arts scene.  This includes Newport Street Gallery, Cabinet, Gasworks, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall and Pump House Gallery in an emerging gallery quarter.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council said: “For Nine Elms to become the lively, vibrant place we want it to be we need the right cultural partners in the area.  We already have a wealth of assets on the doorstep, not least Battersea Power Station, New Covent Garden Market and Pump House Gallery, and we want to strengthen our cultural scene and welcome new creatives to Nine Elms.

“This call-out with EcoWorld Ballymore gives us another exciting opportunity.  We are looking for an organisation which can really engage with our local communities and visitors.  This space requires a year-round programme of public events that will bring this place to life, draw people in and showcase the best of London’s creative talent.”

 The process

Applications will be judged according to a set of criteria, which include examples of how the organisation can demonstrate commitment to its existing local community, and provide year-round programming and opportunities for public engagement.  Organisations will be required to evidence financial stability.  To be considered, organisations must complete a written application by Friday 28th April 2017.  Shortlisted organisations will then be invited to an interview with a panel comprised of experts from the cultural sector, Wandsworth Council and EcoWorld Ballymore.  The call-out process is being managed by Create Associates and the agreement brokered with support from Enable Leisure and Culture.

More information

About Nine Elms and Vauxhall

This regeneration area sits across the boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth. It includes Battersea Power Station to the west, Albert Embankment to the east and has 3km of river frontage. It is undergoing critical regeneration at significant scale and will deliver 20,000 new homes, 6.5m sq.ft. of commercial space and acres of revitalised and new public space. Its masterplan ensures multiple developers work together and its cultural strategy makes it accessible to all.



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