Way back in the 1990s, Copeland Park and Bussey Building set the bar for a grassroots, community-led creative prototype but, undoubtedly, its the residents – a diverse community of artists, small businesses, bars, restaurants and cinemas – who have made it what it is today.
Located minutes from Peckham Rye station, Copeland Park serves the area’s social and cultural heart by offering studios, workshops and space that enables creative businesses to flourish. From traditional, industrial spaces to derelict terraced houses, there is desk space for architecture, graphic design and photography practices, and studios and exhibit space for painters, carpenters, textile and ceramic makers.
The Bussey is home to arts and fitness studios, a nightclub, community theatre and faith groups, and a rooftop cinema with unparalleled views over London while a multi-storey retail premises with art-deco frontage is housed within the remains of the 1930s Holdrons department store.
Emphasis on community is paramount, and Copeland Park works with local groups to retain the area’s cultural diversity and vitality. In fact, a key factor in this cultural quarter’s success is how West African churches, mosques, street-food vendors, jewellers and tailors rub shoulders with creatives and entrepreneurs in, what many would deem, London’s most authentic and real neighbourhood.
At Copeland Park, it’s clear to see why this blueprint for a small business ecosystem is unrivalled anywhere else in the City, and how integral sites like this are to any thriving, creative community.