Ladywell Playtower is located approximately 1km to the South West of Lewisham Town Centre, and is situated roughly halfway between Lewisham High Street and Ladywell’s bustling village centre. The site is in close proximity to good transport links and boasts a distinctive aesthetic as a part of the St Mary’s Conservation Area.
Having been out of use for more than a decade this once important community facility now has an opportunity to serve the needs of the local area again.
Ladywell Playtower is a site of both community and historical significance. The Playtower was built in the 19th century and was used predominantly as a public bath house. More recently the site operated as a gymnasium as well for wider leisure uses. The building fell out of use in 2004 and a fire in 2006 destroyed the rear pool hall. The property now sits in a state of disrepair, with the cost of restoring the Playtower estimated to be in excess of £5 million.
The London Borough of Lewisham, whom own the building, ran a competitive bid process to pick a development partner, with the core aim of restoring the Playtower and bringing it back into public use. Since the successful appointment in November 2017, Guildmore has been in extensive discussions with the council and local stakeholders to bring forward viable proposals for the site. During the bid process, Guildmore outlined their vision to restore Ladywell Playtower as a publicly accessible leisure destination for local residents and the wider community.
In response to local consultation and a lack of Cinema facilities in the borough, Guildmore in partnership with Curzon propose to reopen the Playtower as a three-screen cinema, complete with a freely accessible public events foyer and complementary café, bar and restaurant uses.
Lewisham Council, in collaboration with Guildmore and Curzon Cinema are fully committed to bringing forward this development as soon as possible. The proposal represents an excellent opportunity to revive the character and significance of the Playtower, bringing an important building back into public use that could otherwise fall into further significant disrepair