The Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust has received the go ahead from London Borough of Sutton to restore the historic Culvers Lodge in Hackbridge to deliver a community meeting facility and co-working space for small enterprises, a not-for-profit bike hub, which will train and employ local people, and new offices for the Trust.
The Trust was asked by the Friends of Culvers Lodge to help identify funding for a feasibility study to assess whether the building could be brought back into useful life. Using funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Trust have worked with the Friends, wider community stakeholders and LB Sutton for the last 12 months to produce a feasibility study and business proposition. This was submitted to LB Sutton in September this year.
LB Sutton’s Strategy and Resources Committee on 31st October 2016 approved the recommendation of the Building Utilisation Implementation Board to endorse the Lodge restoration proposals. The Council has recommended the Trust be offered a 99-year lease on the property with a rent-free period. The trust will now need to secure investment for the refurbishment and costs of setting up the not-for-profit business.
The aim for the co-working space is to provide flexible workspace for local entrepreneurs and small businesses, while the proposed bike hub aims to provide a community cycle shop, with maintenance and cycle training.
Trust CEO Sue Morgan said, “The Friends of Culvers Lodge and the Trust are thrilled that L B Sutton have endorsed our proposal and have supported our vision to breathe new life into this overlooked historic building to deliver important new facilities for local people and the local economy. This also allows the Trust to become more
financially self-sufficient through the income generation from this asset.”