Bussey Building

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Bussey Building panorama: photo Nick Woodford

NOTE: Spaces for events are available now for hire from CLF Art Cafe - contact Mickey Smith <msmith@clfplanet.com>

The Bussey building, and the large Copeland quarter site, was saved in 2009 from demolition for a tram depot following the campaign which gave birth in 2006 to Peckham Vision.

The Bussey building is owned by a commercial company, Copeland Park, that lets it out for various uses. It is a huge building. Part of it is now operated by the CLF Art Cafe which works with Peckham Vision to get the building into more community oriented commercial uses. CLF Art Cafe is operating Tuesday to Saturday, and is also letting out its space for various activities, including theatre, music, other leisure, private events, and community workshops and meetings. see more There are also many artists' studios and other creative enterprises in the Bussey building and two galleries in the next building on the Copeland quarter site. Peckham Vision is a resident-led community consortium taking action to develop the potential of Peckham town centre for the benefit of all.

The Bussey building is a Victorian reinforced concrete industrial structure, brick-clad with most of its decorative features on the side facing the railway tracks. It originally acted as advertising for Bussey and Co, the well-known sporting goods manufacturers. George Bussey was an eminent Victorian industrialist and entrepreneur. The factory made cricket bats from its own willow farm in Suffolk. There are magnificent views of central London from the three roofs. The factory was, when it was built, one of Peckham’s tallest buildings.

A sketch of a possible addition to the Bussey Building on site 63P.

Now known as CIP House, in the Copeland Industrial Park (CIP), it is tucked away behind Bournemouth Road and Rye Lane. The Park hosts many small businesses, some 60 artists, faith groups, and cultural arts and exhibition spaces: see here. CIP is part of the large 7 acre site which was designated by the Council and TfL in 2007 for demolition for the Cross River Tram depot (2016). TfL have subsequently been advised by their experts that this is the wrong site for the tram depot; they have identified a different site elsewhere. That designation does not now appear in the Council's Options for the site in the Planning policy papers.

Peckham Vision always argued that this is a strategic site in the heart of the town centre, and could have a different future. The mix of historic buildings and other spaces provide significant potential for innovative development for new modern uses providing vibrant life to the town centre. The Bussey building is probably the last really big early 20th century industrial building in Peckham of which there were once quite a few. It was probably used for wartime production during the first and presumably the second world wars. The basement was used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War.

Benedict O’Looney, local architect and historian, says “This building needs preserving as a marker of Peckham's once impressive industrial past. There are just a few of these industrial buildings left in the area, and this is an important example. It is a very solid well made building capable of a long life with modern rehabilitation, as part of a creative development of the overall site.”

Hopefully, this building and the adjacent site can now have a well designed quality development fit for the 21st century and contribute its potential to a revival of the town centre. In the meantime, the natural development of it as the Copeland Cultural Quarter continues apace - see here Copeland Park

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<googlemap version="0.9" lat="51.469896" lon="-0.067291" zoom="17" width="100%">51.469916, -0.067796, Bussey Building</googlemap>


Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

There are two entrances:

  • 133 Rye Lane for the CLF Art Cafe - opposite Blenheim Grove: walk through the passageway to the ornate front door in the small courtyard at the end of the passage, and follow the signs to the first floor.
  • 133 Copeland Road - at the other end of the site, the entrance to the whole site and the car park (by arrangement) is on Copeland Road between the junctions with Bournemouth Road and Consort Rd railway bridge.

History weblinks

Video clips


Photos of the Bussey building

Photos of events & businesses

Other pages which show some of the current uses of the Bussey Building.

  • the bouncing bussey 4 April 2012: "One of Peckham’s little treasures is this huge warehouse hidden down an alley. Like most places in Peckham, you don’t tend to walk down dark alleys unless you know what to expect the other side. The beauty of this..."

See also