Lambeth Council has agreed a partnership investment programme to create a major centre for black history and culture in Brixton. The Black Cultural Archives (BCA) will have a permanent home in the heart of iconic Windrush Square.
Housed in the now derelict Raleigh Hall, the centre will hold the BCA collection of historical material relating to black Britain and the African diaspora, as well as providing a much needed educational resource for schools, students and the general public.
The collection numbers some 8,000 items, including an original bill of sale from 1843 with details of slaves to be sold on the auction block in England and an original score by the 19th century musician and composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor.
The investment programme is the latest stage in the council’s alliance with the BCA to ensure that the long held dream of a permanent home for the archives becomes a reality.
The council has now agreed to make a joint approach with the BCA to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and to provide a one off £100,000 capital allocation towards overall project costs.
The £97,000 currently given by the council every year for the project will now rise to £162,000.
Lambeth has agreed in principle to act as the developer for the delivery of the construction and fit out of Raleigh Hall. When the building is ready, the council will transfer Raleigh Hall to the BCA on a 99–year peppercorn rent.