Entries in arts (1)


A little bit of Brixton was lost this morning.

Image courtesy of Rocker_44This morning squatters of Clifton Mansions were evicted after a 15 year occupancy of building. Lambeth Council who own the building plan to turn it into luxury flats, which for me seems to go very much against the original purpose and essence of the flats.

Located on Coldharbour Lane the 22 flats were built in 1896 to house the workers of Brixton Theatre (now the Ritzy cinema) and over the years have maintained a strong cultural link with the community - former residents have included members of The Pouges, The Cult, and notably 2004 Turner Prize winner, Jeremy Deller.

In recent years the building has suffered a decline in maintenance but lost none of the character which made it special or the sense of community from those who inhabited it, many of whom were musicians and artists contributing to the local area.

In 2007 the Clifton Mansions Initiative (CMI) put together a regeneration proposal at the heart of which the vision was to provide 22 affordable live/work units for use by the Creative and Cultural Industries. It would also provide retail units to help generate income for the workspaces and a centre for outreach programmes focused on tacking Brixton's social problems.

As recently as a few months ago I heard rumours that Lambeth Council may be interesting in resuscitating ideas from the CMI - sadly this seems not to be the case.