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Mountview Academy

THIS PAGE: Peckham’s young, diverse and enthusiastic community at Mountview Academy.

we have commissioned a local scene builder from down the road and over 22 local people have been employed on the Mountview site. In addition, around £14 million of economic inflow is being brought into the area.” Mountview is also a strong player on the national and global stage. As Preece explains: “After the financial sector, the creative industry is the second largest contributor to GDP in the UK. Around 70% of West End shows feature Mountview students. And we don’t just produce actors and performers, but also professionals involved in backstage crafts, from lighting to set design. Events like the London Olympics couldn’t have happened without the involvement of the creative industries. We have a 100% conversion rate from student to employment for backstage crafts and stage management. For our performance pathways it’s 96%. We also generate a lot in terms of the tourist industry – through West End shows, Fashion Week and so on.” The new site heralds a new era for the academy as it is Mountview’s first permanent home in 30 years. Prior to this state-of-the-art Peckham site designed by Carl Turner Architects, it was located across five rented sites in an industrial estate in Wood Green, Haringey. Preece adds: “This is a brilliant 9,600sq m space in a strategic location. It’s a multi-purpose venue, offering a unique model of training, which connects industry professionals, students and the local community. We have 23 dance and acting studios, two theatre spaces, and a commercial rehearsal space. “Although it’s taken us years to find our permanent home, it took just 17 months from the day they put the fencing up around the brownfield site to the day the students arrived. It has been a very efficient build.

“The cost of building the academy was £27.3 million, of which more than £20 million was secured in loan financing. Of the additional funding needed to complete the project, £2.5 million came from Southwark Council, £850,000 from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund and the rest from trusts and foundations. “We received some of the cost from trusts and foundations and now need £1.5 million to complete the theatre fit-out, which will be generated through individual giving. We are self-sustaining and generate income from our food and beverage outlets, plus the work and office spaces we are renting out. There are commercial rehearsal rooms with a set of ancillary spaces that are ideal for West End agencies, theatre castings and so on. There is also a whole floor that would be suitable for SMEs within the creative sector. “Our academy is a fantastic case study, due to our partnership with Southwark Council and contractors Gilbert Ash. We could not have done it without our partners and we’re grateful to them,” emphasises Preece. “Councils have access to financing. If they can unlock the finance for us, we can deliver the benefits. The council owns the land and charges us rent and we pay off the loan and interest goes back in the coffers to the public – so the local public are getting a good deal too. “It is a great model that can be replicated on many different scales.” She concludes: “Regeneration is not about pushing out local people. It’s about bringing them into the potential of what change might look like. We can’t stop progress and change but can make sure that everyone will experience the benefits of it.”

62 issue 20 winter 2018

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22/11/2018 11:15

Profile for 3Fox International Ltd

Southwark magazine #20  

Over 20 issues, Southwark magazine has covered the transformation of the London borough, showcasing the influential buildings, strong commun...

Southwark magazine #20  

Over 20 issues, Southwark magazine has covered the transformation of the London borough, showcasing the influential buildings, strong commun...