A decade-long relationship between 3Fox International and Southwark Council – which recently saw the 14th issue of Southwark magazine published – was celebrated at a new leisure centre in the borough last night (8 March).
The event in Elephant and Castle was attended by 103 delegates, mainly made up of senior figures from developers, housebuilders and architects which have shaped Southwark’s regeneration.
They were welcomed to The Castle by Southwark’s council leader, Peter John: "You’re here because you’re part of the exciting story which is regeneration and investment in our borough, as recorded faithfully for the last 10 years by Southwark magazine.
"You can not go to a corner of this borough where some sort of development isn’t going on."
The Castle, which is set over three levels, features a six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, a learner pool, a top-floor basketball court, a fully equipped gym, cycle studios, two exercise class and dance studios.
"Delivering a facility like this – which I think competes with any leisure centre you can find in London – shows what a progressive Labour council, taking advantage of the benefits of regeneration, is all about," John said. The facility, he added, is likely to be paid for by Section 106 contributions from developments in the nearby Elephant and Castle regeneration area.
The latest issue of Southwark looks back at some of the schemes that have dramatically changed perceptions of the borough during the last decade, as well as ongoing regeneration projects that are continuing to transform what is now acknowledged as a central London borough – fulfilling one of the magazine's original goals.
Speaking at the event, chief executive of Southwark Council, Eleanor Kelly, said: "Our confidence is well placed and rooted in our ability to use regeneration in the right way and for the right reasons.
"But of course, we wouldn’t be able to do that without all the developers, architects and housebuilders in the room. You’re actually a huge part of our success story which will continue to go from strength to strength – and as everyone knows, we’re not finished yet.
"If you look around Southwark, regeneration is the right thing to do. If we didn’t do it, we’d be missing an enormous opportunity to improve the health and well-being, lives and livelihood of millions of people."
Also speaking was chairman of the Berkeley Group, Tony Pidgley CBE, who praised Southwark Council's administration and the progress the authority had made during the last decade.
He said: "Since Peter and Eleanor took up the helm at Southwark Council, the borough has led the way, not only on where are we going to build homes and create jobs, but also by setting a precedent for additionality.
"This [the leisure centre] is fantastic and is an example of the additionality I’m talking about. It is for the people and when you bring the people of any borough with you and have leaders who engage, then you achieve success.
“We measure that success by what the public sector and the private sector achieve in partnership and that’s why I say well done to Peter and the team. Keep regenerating.”
It has become Southwark council leader Peter John's mantra: "This is the best borough, in the best city, in the best country in the…