Contact: Kevin Flaherty 0208 3149327
None were made.
Having considered open and confidential officer reports and presentations by
the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Alan Smith, and representatives of the Just
Jones Theatre, Ladywell Traders Association, the Ladywell Society,
Lewisham Building Preservation Trust, BECTU, and Councillor Liz Johnston-
Franklin on behalf of the Ladywell Ward Councillors, the Mayor agreed that:
(1) the progress made in securing a long term and sustainable future for
Ladywell Playtower, and the quality and calibre of all the shortlisted proposals
to reach the final stage of what has been a highly competitive process be
(2) the project team’s analysis of the strengths and challenges associated with
each of the final proposals be noted;
(3) the comments made by the general public and stakeholders through the
public consultation be noted;
(4) Having considered open and closed reports, Guildmore Curzon be
appointed as a preferred provider for securing the long term sustainable future
of Ladywell Playtower;
(5) a reserve bidder, RJK/Copeland Park and Hillman, be appointed who can
replace the preferred provider in the case of a withdrawal from the process
and/or a lack of progression towards Ladywell Playtowers restoration and
(6) authority be delegated to the Executive Director for Resources and
Regeneration, in consultation with the Head of Law, to agree final terms with
the preferred provider and to finalise the terms of all land disposals and all
other legal documentation with the preferred provider or any of their group
(7) authority be delegated to the Executive Director for Resources &
Regeneration to ascertain whether best consideration is being certified, to
consider whether the terms of the general consent under Section 123 of the
Local Government Act 1972 apply and to make an application to the
Secretary of State for a specific disposal consent should this be necessary.
The Mayor received detailed presentations from the Deputy Mayor and
Officers in the Resources and Regeneration Directorate on the four bids for
the future use of the iconic Ladywell Playtower.
The Mayor next received a presentation from Rebecca Manson Jones of the
Just Jones Theatre on behalf of What Next Lewisham, the local arm of a
national non-hierarchical movement promoting arts and culture. She spoke in
support of the bid by RJK/Copeland Park and Hillman which she believed
could give a massive boost to the growth of arts and culture in the locality.
Callum Heckstall-Smith spoke on behalf of Ladywell Traders Association in
support of the 600 seat cinema bid by Picturehouse which he saw as a
desirable way to increase footfall and thereby trade in Ladywell.
Robert Smith briefed the Mayor on consideration made by the Ladywell
Society. The Society felt there should have been more consultation and a
second public meeting but had no firm position on a preferred bidder.
Tony Rich of the Lewisham Building Preservation Trust explained his
charitable trust existed to see at risk buildings refurbished and reused. He
said all four bidders had the potential to succeed but that the Picturehouse
proposal should be preferred as it entailed less enabling development.
Nia Hughes spoke on behalf of BECTU and explained she had been a
Picturehouse employee for a decade and was a part time union organiser.
She stated Picturehouse did not pay the London Living Wage and had made
repeated attempts to undermine her Union with a free to join in house staff
forum. She stated Curzon was an ethical employer and hoped their bid would
Councillor Liz Johnston-Franklin spoke on behalf of all three Ward
Councillors. She said all four bids had been carefully scrutinised to see how
the applications would complement the local Ladywell community. The Ward
Councillors had concluded that they could not support any bidder who was not
committed to the London Living Wage and they asked the Mayor to only
consider bids from organisations committed to paying at least the London
The Mayor thanked all the speakers for their contributions and reported he
had received a petition on the proposal as well as many emails raising other
issues. He then invited Cabinet Members to raise questions with the
presenting officers on the four bids.
The Mayor summed up by thanking the four bidders and the many other
organisations which had submitted expressions of interest. There had been
concerns about the building for many years but the Council had not been in a
position to attempt restoration. Hence bids had been invited by the Council on
a non prescriptive basis. The Mayor said he was very pleased four credible
bids had been made. All four were capable of delivery and it was a pure
coincidence that two of them proposed a cinema. The Mayor believed his
decision would be a judgement call leaving some very good bidders
disappointed. He explained many issues had ... view the full minutes text for item 103.