Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Statement in support of application no: 1434761 to list the Brixton Recreation

Statement in support of application no: 1434761 to list the Brixton Recreation Centre, 
27 Brixton Station Road, London SW9 8QQ.

photo Sean Macintosh

Brixton Recreation Centre Users Group(BRUG) supports this application for the listing of the Centre (locally called the Rec).

We request that Historic England considers our support summarised below, in conjunction with this application. BRUG is an independent voluntary organisation of Rec users : - established in 2007 in response to threatened closure; - recognised by Lambeth Council and GLL, the current management; -in 2012 Lambeth Council’s Brixton Central plan suggested possible sale and demolition of the Rec by developers; - after a BRUG led campaign and public meeting in December 2012, the Council leader Lib Peck committed to securing the future of the Rec; - The Council and GLL agreed to regular consultation with BRUG. Social and Community Significance of the Rec: - Brixton Recreation Centre is a vital hub providing a focus for a cohesive and vibrant community; - it is located in the heart of Brixton; - well served by all forms of public transport; - adjacent to well patronised market and eating / entertainment venues; - many diverse communities use the Rec - Afro-Caribbean / British /Latin American and many more; - the Rec is the only place where everyone can meet and interact to develop personal interests and friendships; - the opening of the Rec following the enquiry by Lord Scarman into the riots in the 1980’s, was seen as addressing the lack of sports and leisure provision in Lambeth, especially for young people; - Nelson Mandela visited the Rec in 1996 to address the local community. Upon his death a huge outpouring of thanks and sorrow from all communities was recorded in books of condolence BRUG submitted to the South African High Commission; - several community sports clubs are based in the Rec providing routes to personal growth and sporting success to mostly disadvantaged local kids - Afewee Training Centre run football and boxing activities and several of their young people have represented England in football (Nat Clyne and Rinsola Babajide) and others play for professional clubs; - Topcats Basketball club had many players in Team GB at the 2012 Olympic Games and others have gone on to play in the American NBA; - Xpozure Dance group have had dancers go on to the Royal Ballet, Ballet Rambert and the Brits School. A Local Community Asset : - the Rec is a safe and happy meeting space in an otherwise deprived community; - it is heavily used with on average 76,000 visits every month; - is spread over 6 levels, activities include bowls, 3 gyms, 3 pools, many exercise and dance studios, a huge sports hall,a football pitch, squash courts and nursery and soft play spaces for toddlers; - all the spaces radiate from a light filled central atrium; - the versatility of the design enables spaces to be adapted for a multiplicity of uses - the football pitch becomes a mosque and a Christian church group use a dance studio, while the sports hall has the basketball ,roller derby and racket sports and exam students.

Robyn Dasey (Secretary of BRUG) David Duncan (Chairperson of BRUG)


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