News Article

The ongoing story of Russ T Beam

06 May 22


Here’s the latest from the “beam-me-up Scotty” adventure. Our intrepid sub-group had authorised a full structural engineer’s report and gleaned from a pro-bono architect that if we could present a case to Lambeth that the works were repairs and not alterations, we would be able to start the works without listed building consent, a process that would hold us up for a minimum of 8-12 weeks.

The structural engineer visited at the end of March and after a long wait, we received the proposed works last week. This was promptly sent off to the Listed Building manager at Lambeth who approved them without the need for special consent. They just want to see photos of the “after” Hooray! So – we are now only waiting for the final steel fabrication lead time and availability of the builders. There will be one extra visit from the team who will put in the temporary props to support the building this week and then we hope that phase one of the works will be scheduled. The only thing we will need to apply for is temporary closure of the pavement on our side while the works are done.

Once we have lined up all the moving parts we will liaise with Building Manager Bex, The Members Club Bar, General Council and Theatre Committee to ensure minimum disruption is caused to our programming, but should the works need to fall on a show week due to pavement licence, steel arrival and workforce we will make sure there is still a brilliant audience experience.

The costs for these two elements are coming in at approx £41,000. We have a full break down of costs. This is within the funding envelope that we proposed, and we have saved on architects’ costs and listed building consent (approx £4,000). However, if you haven’t made a donation recently or bought a raffle ticket or added a couple of quid to your ticket purchases, please do if you can afford it; be sure it would be spent wisely! I have full plans from the structural engineer for those of you interested in seeing the proposed works.

Thanks again to the team who have been at meetings, chased up quotes, sourced suppliers and crunched the numbers. We are a little behind schedule but hope to have the works started this side of the summer (the TOWER works and BEAM replacement).

Charlotte Benstead
Chair, Building Preservation Trust
charlotte@southlondontheatre.co.uk