Peckham Vision is a resident-led local citizens' association of individuals who live, work or run a business in Peckham. Its vision is to support Peckham town centre as a thriving and sustainable social and commercial centre, and to contribute to Peckham being a good place for all in which to live, work and visit. The objects of the Group are to:
- Promote and encourage citizen action to help Peckham town centre to become an integrated and resilient place and links past, present and future for the benefit of all who live and work there.
- Create and nurture ways of connecting people in Peckham who share enthusiasm and desire to help develop and realise the potential of Peckham, and to make the lessons available beyond Peckham.
An integrated town centre
Since 2005 we have encouraged informed discussion about the development plans for Peckham Town Centre, and stimulated a variety of ideas for transforming the central area of Rye Lane around Peckham Rye station, Copeland Cultural Quarter, and the Bussey building. Some material from this work since 2006 is on this website; see especially Transforming Central Rye Lane and An alternative vision for Rye Lane Central.
We have taken a lead to demonstrate the role of historical and old buildings restoration from an integrated view of Peckham town centre:
- promoted the idea of recreating the public square in front of Peckham Rye station, to transform the pedestrian experience in that central part of Rye Lane. This is now a key part of the Council’s Gateway to Peckham project to realise the potential of Peckham Rye station, and its location.
- led the way in developing the vision and its implementation to restore the station Old Waiting Room, and the Victorian staircase as a town centre function space, run as a community enterprise.
- made the proposal to the Heritage Lottery Fund which resulted in a successful Council application for a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) to restore selected historic buildings in the town centre.
- taken the lead in bringing community views together at the PNAAP Public Inquiry leading to the first saving of the Peckham Multi Storey building from redevelopment. For the second stage of the campaign see here - finally successful in October 2017.
- A list of specific achievements over the years is here.
We work with and link residents and people and enterprises from the parallel local economies of local independent traders, creative enterprises, main stream retailers, the historic restoration work and the faith and religious world. The early years of this work stimulated the emergence of a Peckham Town Centre Forum which first met in December 2009. It has facilitated many events and interactions since then.
Pioneering new approaches to citizen engagement
Underpinning the historic restoration work is Peckham Vision’s understanding of the significant role that learning about our local history and heritage at all educational ages has, and how it connects with wider issues and aspects of town centre life.
Peckham Vision is committed to developing good quality information to distribute in a variety of ways to local people, and to create innovative ways for them to become engaged in the work. There are:
- Peckham Vision shop in Holdron's Arcade, 135a Rye Lane open on Saturday afternoons 2-5pm, and First Thursdays 7pm-9pm monthly, other times ad hoc, and with information displays every day.
- continuing events, including workshops, seminars, guided walkabouts in the town centre, and public meetings.
- exhibitions such as the 3 day exhibition in the Old Waiting Room, the exhibition displays in the ground floor foyer of Peckham library and mobile exhibitions at local community fairs. Over the last few years these have developed ito the Open Studio events in our Bussey studio, for example in 2018 Peckham Festival.
- regular emails to a mailing list of some 4000 local people on topical matters relating to the town centre and to the wider Peckham community and until 2017 posted in the PRN blog. Since then this service has temporarily slowed while we develop social media channels.
- Facebook and twitter and local web discussion forums.
- new ways to cater for 'pop-up' volunteering to tap into the enthusiasm of hundreds of potential volunteers able to volunteer only for ad hoc opportunities.
- developing and nurturing relationships and working together with traders and with faith groups.
- Peckham Vision has a community shop in Holdron's Arcade at 135a Rye Lane, donated for community use by the owners Copeland Park. The shop is open on Saturdays 2-5pm and the first Thursdays 7-9pm each month. It is an information hub and a place for discussions about the town centre, and related matters, and sells for fund raising Peckham themed goods. The arcade is on the site of the original arcade in the Edwardian Holdrons as in the photo. Half the current arcade is embedded in the 1930s art deco building, now occupied by Khan's Bargain store.The other half is housed in the remnants of the Edwardian arcade behind the back of Khan's.
- Peckham Vision is a constituted community association. The work is managed and conducted by a small community team of residents, supported by a range of local people who volunteer for particular events and activities. A Friends organisation is planned for supporters, and for fund raising to support the considerable work that residents are carrying out unpaid. Peckham Vision has a mailing list of over 3000 local people. Our policy on protection of that data is set out in this statement.
- Peckham Vision works with other local groups, such as the Peckham Heritage Partnership,Peckham Society, Transition Town Peckham, the Bellenden Residents Group, the Rye Lane Traders' Association (RLTA), Copeland Park, Peckham Levels, Southwark Law Centre and Benedict O’Looney Architects.
- Peckham Vision is an active member of:
- There are working contacts with Southwark Council, and the rail companies - Network Rail and Southern Rail.
The evolution of Peckham Vision
Peckham Vision grew from the community campaign 2005 - 2009 which questioned the wisdom of demolishing a 6 acre site, including the Bussey Building and Copeland Park, for a tram depot, and from the parallel community action to improve the area around Peckham Rye station. A brief summary of the evolution over the years since then can be found here.
The nature of community
Underlying the work of Peckham Vision is the understanding that the strength of a community lies in the connections between people who live, work and run businesses there. Peckham Vision is dedicated to nurturing those connections, and exploring ways to link into the energy and enthusiasm of our neighbourhood. This work is influenced by the two systems approach developed by Eileen Conn, long time resident of Peckham, co-ordinator and founder of Peckham Vision and associate research fellow of the TSRC (Third Sector Research Centre). Further information about the two systems ‘social eco-systems dance’ model can be found here. Local paper Peckham Peculiar pp10-11 front cover story in February 2019 carried an interview with Eileen Conn about her work and the work of Peckham Vision.
Video clips relating to Peckham Vision's work
- December 2011: Interview with Eileen Conn on: Why community groups are more energy waves than organisational matter.
- Spring 2012: Peckham pitch for a Portas pilot project and here also.
- Summer 2012: 5 x 15 TED type talk by Eileen Conn on the 'transformation' of Peckham in Central Rye Lane from 2005. This talk was held in the straw auditorium of Bold Tendencies.
- September 2013: BBC London News Gentrification distorting Peckham
- February 2014 ITV News Peckham station redevelopment could destroy the area
- October 2015: Launch of Ordinary Streets film - a short film based on an ethnographic and visual exploration of the spaces, economies and cultures of ‘street’... through the lens of Rye Lane in Peckham. Eileen Conn Peckham Vision contributes.
- July 2015: Video of talk by Eileen Conn at Just Space Conference on The London Plan and Building other ways of thinking about London's economy.
- March 2016: News report: Peckham Vision and the Saviour of Copeland Park: Artefact video 10 mins.
- 17th March 2017: Call for action for community development at CDNL (Community Development Network London) How neighbourhood community planning action groups are part of community development work.
- April 2017 London ITN News saving the PeckhamPlex cinema
- November 2017 Old Mill Building threatened with demolition
- 9th December 2017: Peckham Levels Launch
Media reports relating to Peckham Vision's work
- 22nd August 2017 Peckham Levels interview blog
- 13th Septenber 2017 Peckham Festival interview blog
- September 2017 'The Southwark Review' pages 28-33 article: 'Peckham's Cultural Epicentre' including comments on role of Peckham Vision
- September 2017 'Peckham's Cultural Epicentre' in Southwark Review as a pdf
- August 2018 Mapping Peckham in South London Gallery Journal blog: contribution from 'Eileen Conn, Founder and Coordinator of Peckham Vision'
- July 2019 Defending her area against the soulless and the expensive - Peckham Vision's Eileen Conn is a hero of localism
Previous media reports on Peckham Vision work are currently being collated.