Cultural policy

The London culture landmark that escaped redevelopment

Gentrification might be rampant in London but innovative, new artist-led spaces keep popping up through the redeveloped cracks. The latest is the Old Manor Park Library in east London—housed in a magnificent Grade II-listed building backed by the famed philanthropist Andrew Carnegie—which reopened last week as a workshop space for artists, creative businesses and community-led activities. The non-profit organisations Create and Bow Arts have secured a seven-year lease on the regal red-brick property from Newham Council (even the mayor Boris Johnson has pitched in, with £177,500 funding from the Mayor of London’s High Street fund). The Rabbits Road Institute, an initiative founded by the artists Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck, is based in the new public space. The project will explore what “artists can bring to a neighbourhood through self-education, skill sharing and the reimagining of a municipal heritage building”, says a press statement.