An anonymous benefactor has gifted the Grade II-listed former Peckham Road Fire Station to the South London Gallery.
The donation means the gallery can transform the derelict 1867 building – London’s earliest surviving example of a purpose-built station – into a new cultural centre across the road from its existing site.
Says the gallery’s director, Margot Heller: ‘The gift of the fire station to the South London Gallery was an exceptionally generous philanthropic act and a complete surprise.’
Heller adds: ‘We want to create a welcoming and truly special place to experience contemporary art, and to work closely with local residents in realising that vision.’
South London Gallery has already secured £254,000 in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to map out the four-storey building’s restoration, which would allow it to host more exhibitions and showcase its archives for the first time.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked a further £1.5 million for the project providing the gallery raises £2 million from other sources. If the funding target is met, the renovated Peckham Road Fire Station could open in 2018.