Delivering a new permanent LGBTQ+ cultural space in Southwark

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Native Land and the London Borough of Southwark are delighted to be working together with the GLA and Southwark LGBT Network to bring forward a programme to deliver the boroughs first permanent LGBTQ+ cultural space.

This unique partnership is intended to support and celebrate the borough’s diverse cultural sector, providing expert insight and high-quality spaces to help ensure Southwark and London’s LGBTQ+ communities can continue to thrive.

This website is intended for potential occupier to express interest, receive copies of the tender documents and communicate with the project team ahead of the evaluation period in Winter 2023.

The Brief

In 2019, Native Land and the London Borough of Southwark agreed to identify an LGBTQ+ occupier for cultural space within the railway arches.

With historic LGBTQ+ uses onsite, the key deliverable set out by the agreement was to deliver space that would be of strategic value to the LGBTQ+ community, and deliver wider social value and community benefits through a sustainable and long-term business model.

The space has the potential for a range of uses, from performances to cultural gatherings, workshops and events.

Potential occupiers are invited to submit a detailed proposal setting out the vision, programme, relevant financial information and business plan by 20th November 2023.

Entries will be reviewed against agreed evaluation criteria and presented to a dedicated panel of experts who will conduct interviews with shortlisted entries, with a view to offering a contractual agreement. The space shall be offered for a 25 year lease period on commercial terms that reflect the objective to maximise the benefits to the LGBTQ+ community and the local community, whilst providing a sustainable business model. Rental return is one part of the evaluation but is not the sole determining factor.

The space will be prepared to shell and core ready for handover to the occupier for fit-out by the end of 2023.

Programme Partners

This programme is being delivered as part of a Memorandum of Understanding agreed between Native Land and the London Borough of Southwark, and is being supported by a number of partners across London:
Native Land

Native Land has been bringing forward high-quality, versatile developments across London since 2003, from NEO Bankside to Burlington Gate. It is currently bringing forward Bankside Yards, the 5.5 acre mixed-use neighbourhood centred around the historic railway arches that lead into Blackfriars Station, providing new homes, offices, retail and leisure spaces, and centred around exciting cultural opportunities.

London Borough of Southwark

As the local council that has overseen the resurgence of Bankside as London’s new cultural quarter, Southwark is a borough which delivers on its big ambitions. It represents a significant LGBTQ+ community, and this programme is delighted to have Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Finance and Cllr Victor Chamberlain, Leader of the Opposition and Borough & Bankside Ward Councillor joining us as representatives from the council and community.

Greater London Authority

The GLA is responsible for making London a better place for everyone who visits, lives, or works in the city, with strategic authority is to promote economic development and wealth creation, social development, and improvement of the environment.

Southwark LGBT Network

The Southwark Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Network was founded in 2002. It is a volunteer-run organisation that aims to support LGBTQ+ culture and communities in the borough through advocacy, social engagement, and developing links with wider support networks to deliver at a local level.

Kanda Consulting (Facilitator)

Kanda Consulting delivers communication and engagement programmes and has worked with Native Land on the development of Bankside Yards for more than five years. Working with London Borough of Southwark and the rest of the panel, Kanda will facilitate the delivery of the tender.

Expressions of Interest

If you are interested in submitting a detailed proposal including business plan, please provide the below information.

    Would you be interested in partnering with another entrant's programme?

    Copies will be issued to participants of the entrant’s pack, including:

    Entrant’s brochure;
    Invitation To Tender;
    Floor plans;
    Draft lease terms;
    Indicative fit out designs and cost



    All information you give us will be stored safely, treated confidentially, and only used in connection with this project. However, these details are not required, should you wish not to provide them.

    We’ve extended the deadline!

    If you are interested in submitting a proposal to run the new Bankside LGBTQ+ Cultural Space, sign up at the bottom of this page and a copy of the brochure, terms of reference and design pack will be sent to you.

    Submissions are due by 12pm Monday 20 November 2023, with shortlisted interviews at the start of December 2023.