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Old Kent Road studios

Funded on Spacehive 16 August 2016 Delivered 6 January 2023

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Old Kent Road studios

Old Kent Road studios

Pempeople By Pempeople

Help us transform 60 vacant garages on the Ledbury Estate into spaces for workshops, studios, cooking lessons and cultural activities where people can learn and socialise. Pledge your skills below!

Southwark Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 16 Aug 2016!

Help us turn a 1290sqm garage on the Ledbury Estate into a vibrant community hub with a programme of activities for everyone. The Livesey Exchange aims at bringing life, new skills and jobs to a neglected corner of South East London. Conceived as a place where people from diverse backgrounds will meet, have fun and discover programmes that can help them progress in their chosen paths. Everyone using the space, including staff, residents, trainees, entrepreneurs, artists, community groups and businesses, will have the opportunity to learn new skills and access space and support. The Livesey Exchange will need capital funding to upgrade the garages and to kick-start the programme of activities. It is proposed to develop the Livesey Exchange in stages over a period of two years.

What we'll deliver:

  • Make garages safe for public access and programmes
  • Kickstart activities programme with an opening event for the community
  • Make space available for community use
  • Create temporary metal and screen printing workshops
  • Run bike repair workshops
  • Develop a sustainable business model
  • Fundraise for future building works

Why it's a great idea:

The Livesey Exchange seeks to create a dynamic space where people from diverse cultural backgrounds can come together informally and through organised programmes. As more homes are being built in the area the Livesey Exchange will support residents and businesses on the Old Kent Road by offering a place where people can socialise, learn new skills and have access to training and advice in an area with high youth unemployment and low levels of education. Previously there were numerous meeting places serving the communities on Old Kent Road including libraries, cinemas, music halls, 33 pubs (of which there’s only one left) and a civic centre – now there is a serious lack of community spaces. The Livesey Exchange aims to address this need.

Steps to get it done:

  • Make garages safe for public access and use, install toilets, unblock entrances to Old Kent Road and add signage.
  • Opening event to launch the Livesey Exchange as a large venue for experimentation and commence the programme of use.
  • Develop sustainable business model for the Livesey Exchange.
  • Secure funding to complete construction of workshops, studios, training kitchen and roof repairs.

The Livesey Exchange project is being developed by residents from the Unwin and Friary Estate - Nicholas Okwulu, director of social enterprise Pempeople in collaboration with Ulrike Steven, director of architecture practice what if: projects. The Pempeople team who have a strong track record in running transformative locally-focused employment schemes with successful schemes in Brixton (the Loughborough Estate Bike Shop) and Peckham (Pop Up Shop) will lead the Livesey Exchange project. Proposals are supported by Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark Council, GLA, Ledbury Estate TRA, Unwin and Friary TRA, Peckham weeklies, local business and residents. Partner organisations who have expressed their interest at being involved with the Livesey Exchange programme include amongst others Tate Collective, Eden Project, Centric Learning and London Youth. Southwark Council who own the Ledbury garages are currently (April) in the process of preparing a lease agreement for Pempeople.

Location Southwark

About the space


London Borough of Southwark

How will the money be spent?Total £53,237

Design and construction of temporary workshops, WCs, kitchen, signage - £23,000 (43%)
Building repair and enabling works incl drainage and electrics, change of use application - £17,100 (32%)
Delivery of training workshops and project management - £7,000 (13%)
Project website, advertisement and publicity - £2,500 (5%)
Opening event - £1,500 (3%)
Other - £2,137 (4%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Design and construction of temporary workshops, WCs, kitchen, signage
Building repair and enabling works incl drainage and electrics, change of use application
Delivery of training workshops and project management
Project website, advertisement and publicity
Opening event
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees

Total £53,237

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.
  • People willing to help with clearing, painting and decorating
  • Car, motorbike, bike mechanics to run workshops
  • Metal technician or metal workers to run workshops
  • Carpenter or wood workshop technicians to run workshops
  • Graphic designers to run workshops
  • Web designers to run workshops

Want to help?

Do you have stuff or skills to contribute to this project? Use this tool to offer something to the project creator.



Put me down for an afternoon of painting! I can be pretty flexible as to when - weekdays or weekends
I offer interior design competences and free design.
Happy to do some clearing and painting!
I would offer a potential business idea to be developed with the help of the tools in the studio.
jeff brady offered
painting and general building skills available
I am a graphic designer working in social innovation and would love to get involved. Our stuff is down the Rd in Vauxhall.
Joinery and building assistance with painting skills aswell
Painting and decorating with some knowledge of carpentry
General carpentry and building skills, own transport and tools. Can also offer interior design services.
I can help with painting cleaning decorating.
Hey, great project! I'd like to help out. Clearing out, painting, decorating, wherever I can :) I could also offer to run circus arts or presentation/on-stage workshops, if anyone's interested.
Happy to help clearing and painting - mainly fee at weekends or after 6 in the evenings :)
Tamar White offered
I can help out with cleaning, painting and decorating. I'm also able to run barista/ cooking skills workshops.
Happy to help clear the space and paint - mostly free weekends and some evenings after 7pm
Can offer cleaning, painting, carpentry, building, re-purposing, tools & workshops x
Can offer cleaning, painting, carpentry, building, re-purposing, tools & workshops x
Hello! If you are still looking for legal advice, please don't hesitate to get in touch. I'm a solicitor and would be delighted to help out.
Graphic designer interested in knowing more
I can offer design and communication skills. I also have a creative partner who will probably interested in being involved also.
Happy to help on the weekends with decorating, cleaning, etc
Hi, I have just fond out about your project, i live a couple of streets away, keen woodworker, and beekeeper and upfor getting involved.Also have profetional skills in managing H&S in workshops and creating H&S management systems
Happy to help, Fine Arts skills
I am a young architect and would be very happy to help out! I can offer design skills, drawings, cleaning, painting, carpentry, building, re-purposing. I can help out on mostly on Friday or Saturday.
I am offering my services to build a small green wall or moss landscape inside or outside the space. I can also offer workshops in horticulture and terrarium making.
Paintin', clearin', pep-talkin'.
Hi my name is Martin I like the sound of what you are trying to achieve. I am a carpenter and would be happy to offer my services free of charge . Can be available on weekends
£ for work space .welding lessons Fork lift truck .40 8 by4 flats
I can offer writing and editing skills. I've also worked as a curator on art and design shows. And I'm quite handy with a broom...
Hello! I could do spoon carving workshops!
I can offer my skills in: product/furniture/interior design, upcycling, co-design, building, community engagement and basic electrics. Love to run worksops on all of the above
The skills I can offer to teach include, but are not limited to: Digital Marketing: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Local SEO, PPC (Pay Per Click), Content Marketing, Strategy, Social Media, Media Planning. Music Business and Marketing: Career Planning, Music Distribution, Record Labels, Producers, Songwriting, Licensing, PRS, PPL. (I do not teach Music Theory or Production). Arts and Humanities: History, Classics, English Literature, English Language, Creative Writing, Songwriting, Poetry.
Can help paint and/or decorate! Am a visual artist working in watercolour if of any help at some point.
I am a scenic artist and can offer painting, murals and sign writing. I can also offer workshops in upcycling through painting. This project sounds really exciting I'd love to get involved!
I can offer some time to help clear, paint and decorate. I am freelance and often have odd days available in the week. Also I am a graphic/digital designer and would be happy to volunteer these skills if required at all.
graphic design workshops
Dirk Larsen offered
Although I'm now most interested in social art projects, I was very involved with the art world, showing all over Europe, for 35 years or so. I have an MA from the Royal College of Art. I would be happy teaching life-drawing, painting , sorting through peoples' portfolios and advising them on what routes they could take in art. I'm a bit handicapped by a bad foot at the moment, but when better, would be more than happy to help painting walls etc. Maybe I could come along for a day, and we can then see how things go.
Can help with clearing, painting and decorating. I work locally and can volunteer for a day (or more) and spread the word to other potential volunteers at work.
Pam Janin offered
I am a life coach but also tutor to KS3/4 in mathematics
IVY Studios offered
We are a design studio which offer interior design, branding and graphics. Our brand partner ASCAPE also offers Architectural services. We would be happy to offer our all round design services.
I'll be happy to lend a hand with painting and clearing!
Hola ofrezco mis conocimientos en cocina Latino Americana. Y cocina Española. Tambien soy masajista terapeuta 20años experiencia tratamientos Naturales..
Kiran Patel offered
Love to run workshop for both kids and adults on tech skills from programming to graphic design.
I can offer workshops on graphic design and in web design and development
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