Last month we reported that iconic cultural institution Brixton Hill Studios was facing imminent closure due to extortionate rent increases and a struggle to engage their landlord in negotiation. We urged members to use a template letter to write to Brixton Hill MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy with their concerns.
Brixton Hill Studios have now been able to confirm that they have been granted a lease renewal, stating that:
“Although not a landslide win and not without a significant investment financially we are able to confirm we will be here at our current premises, providing a service for musicians andperforming artists, for the next few years while we try to find an alternative home in the area.”
In the press statement the institution put out last week, they thanked those who had supported them in their campaign, raising awareness of the issues they were facing. Those they credited included:
“The Right Hon. Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, to the Mayor of Lambeth and Lambeth council members Olga Fitzroy & David Bridson, Tony Visconti (Producer/David Bowie), Tom Robinson (Musician/6music), Brixton Soup Kitchen, The Musician’s Union & Black Midi and the 5,800 people who signed Jimi Smith’s petition.”
Creative spaces play a crucial role in our cultural identity
Live, Theatre & Music Writers Official Natalie Witts‑Kilshaw expressed both the MU’s delight at the news, and a note of caution on how similar threats are being experienced by institutions UK-wide:
"This achievement highlights the importance of preserving creative spaces, which play a crucial role in our cultural identity, boost economic growth, and foster the next generation of artists.
“Unfortunately, Brixton Hill Studios is not alone in facing closure due to rising rents or redevelopment, and many other cultural spaces across the UK have already been lost. Nonetheless, we are delighted that Brixton Hill Studios can continue to provide a cultural space for musicians for years to come."
An overwhelming response to the campaign points to further need across the country
Brixton Hill Studios reported their success with a similar message, noting how their campaign had brought the number of studios and businesses facing similar threats across the UK, and how much these spaces are needed and wanted by the local and wider music community.
They stated how they planned to move on from the overwhelming response to their #savebrixtonhillstudios campaign, by looking to establish a community shares project which could be kept as an affordable arts space for future generations.
As a first step Brixton Hill Studios are running a survey to establish who might be interested in engaging with this new space, and members are encouraged to fill it out via their google form.
They encourage those interested to “watch this space.” Continued updates will be published on the Brixton Hill Studios website.