Monday, 29 October 2007

Beaufoy Institute: RCDT

The Beaufoy Institute, LambethThere's a pot of gold waiting in Lambeth for anyone who comes up with a great idea on how to utilize the neglected Beaufoy Institute. It's called the Riverside Community Development Trust (RCDT). Its funds are aimed at regenerating a deprived area, reducing unemployment and establishing a thriving arts and crafts community that offers training to craftspeople. What better way to gain access to the RCDT's pot of gold than by stripping the William Morris Gallery of its important collection of artifacts and offering it to Lambeth for regeneration purposes? And what will the William Morris Gallery and the residents of Waltham Forest get out of this deal? Nothing that I can see. Oh, naive councillors, what are you getting yourselves into? Click the title link to read the statement adopted by the Riverside Development Trust Board on August 2004 and see for yourselves.


At 30/6/08, Anonymous Sean Creighton said...

It would have been very helpful if you had contacted RCDT before posting this story, as the situation had moved on considerasbly since 2004, as will be seen from RCDT's website Lambeth Council is actually responsible for the building. Since 2004 the Council has changed strategies on the future of the Beaufoy on several occasions, incloding rejecting all alternative proposals. Its strategy up to March 2008 was rejected by representatives of a number of local groups at a meeting convened by the Council. The Kennington Quarter proposal was put together by Lady Margaret Hall Settlement. RCDT is supportive. It helped to promote it e.g. at the Push the Envelope Further event on the local arts communities at Beaconsifield Gallery in July 2007, and through its ENews/Events listing which is also posted on the website. The proposed Arts and Crafts Musuem is a key element in the proposal, but building a partnership for the whole scheme involved negotiations with several organsiations. In autumn 2007 representatives of De Morgan and of various parties from Waltham Forest visited the Beaufoy building. This was before the good news that the Gallery looked like having a future remaining in Waltham Forest. I was personally appalled at the Waltham Forest Council's original proposal coming at the same time as the appalling decision of Wandsworth Council to shut Wandsworth Musuem, which involved threatening De Morgan's home. The Save the Wandsworth Musuem campaign was successful. You will find items on the position in Kennington and on the Wandsworth campaign on my personal website - In March 2008 Lambeth Council decided to accept the School and Musuem proposals, and a partnership steering group is now working up the details. - Sean Creighton, Development & Management Worker, RCDT.

At 1/7/08, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi, Sean

Sorry about the bad timing and my info being out of date as far as the Beaufoy Institute was concerned, but my prime concern was the William Morris Gallery losing its treasures and the timing was perfect for stirring up debate. I also wrote a post on the de Morgan Foundation's muddled finances, which was an eye-opener for the Save Our Museums campaign. (The Charity Commission sent me copies of financial statements that were being withheld from its website, because they were still subject to adjustment.) It created a furore. The de Morgan Foundation withdrew its attempt to get the WM artifacts on permanent loan not long afterwards.

At 7/8/10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 7/8/10, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

I'd forgotten all about this post. It was part of a campaign to save the William Morris Gallery. Glad to learn you're all keeping fit in Riverside.


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