Native Land welcomed Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council to Bankside Yards in March to set out its programme for the delivery of the future LGBTQ+ cultural space agreed as part of the planning consent for the development of the estate.
As part of the visit, Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land, announced a commitment to deliver 30% more floorspace for the LGBTQ+ community space than originally planned. Native Land and Southwark Council reaffirmed their intention to establish an advisory panel, made up of representatives from the LGBTQ+ community, Southwark Council, the GLA and Native Land, to appoint an operator for the venue. The panel will assess proposals on a range of criteria, including the benefit for the LGBTQ+ community, wider social value and a sustainable business plan.
The LGBTQ+ space will be a highlight of the retail and amenity uses planned for the 14 restored railway arches on the site. The arches, which carry rail lines into Blackfriars Station, will be opened to the public for the first time in 150 years as part of the Bankside Yards masterplan.
Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, said:
“Southwark is a diverse borough where everyone is welcome, no matter their background, sexuality, or how they identify. We were proud to support the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre with their pop-up at Bankside, but knew we had to do everything we could to secure a permanent community space in the borough.
“I was delighted to see the LGBTQ+ space at Bankside Yards taking shape and thrilled to learn about plans to make it even larger. I look forward to the LGBTQ+ community taking ownership of the space and to seeing it come to life.”
Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land, said:
“Our vision for Bankside Yards will deliver a truly mixed-use neighbourhood, connecting cultural uses with world-class businesses, a range of new homes, and both independent and global retail and hospitality brands.
“The delivery of the LGBTQ+ space within the renovated railway arches ensures this important community remains a part of the area, with the potential to provide the diverse opportunities for art, culture and support that help Bankside thrive.”