The Museum will amplify our work to create an engaged, resilient community with strong social networks and more fruitful commercial relationships. It will reflect what our locality was like in the past, but help envision what it might be like in the future.
Surbiton has numerous vacant shops on parades suffering from poor environment and low footfall. But we will challenge any sense there is inevitable decline and use the energy and imagination of the broadest community to deliver a vision to revitalise these areas.
Our networks already deliver a busy calendar of events, and our work has helped build a sense of place that is being celebrated with pride. But suburbs like Surbiton face distinctive challenges to future growth as high commuter populations spend limited time shopping or socialising locally.
We want to overcome these obstacles by expanding engagement and developing a new vision that shapes a more positive, inclusive future for Surbiton’s communities and local businesses.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The Museum will capitalise on five years of community engagement, to open up much needed discussion about the future prospects of some of the more challenging parts of our neighbourhood, bringing people together to develop and direct changes that make a real difference.
Ultimately, the result will be a distinctive, welcoming and vibrant high street that local people have helped to create. A street with a diverse community of local businesses that far more effectively serves the community with what it needs and wants.
We will be using and upgrading a vacant premises to provide a safe environment for local people to explore personal hopes and ambitions with minimal risk. It will encourage experimentation and research, and open up access to technical or specialist support and non-judgemental encouragement and guidance.
It will be a space for the community to learn about its past, celebrate its present and envision the kind of future it would want to inherit.
Steps to get it done:
We have assembled a group of partners that have already informed the project. They represent a wide range of both large and small organisations - business, academic, voluntary and not for profit - and our success will in part depend on our fruitful relationship with this diverse group:
- Kingston Council
- Kingston University
- University College London, Anthropology Department
- Made in Surbiton - collective of local makers and producers
- Surbiton Business Community
- Maple Works - local workspace and virtual office for freelancers and start-ups
- Creative Youth - charity enabling young people to realise their potential through the arts
- The Kingston Pound - community currency project
- Future Mellon - art research project
About the space
A vacant shop, on an undistinguished suburban street
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames