The blaze destroyed the building's roof and damaged collections

Southwark unveils plans to restore Cuming Museum after fire

Geraldine Kendall, 24.07.2013
Council consults on building's future
Southwark Council has revealed details of its plans to restore the Cuming Museum following a devastating fire in March.

The grade II listed Old Walworth Town Hall building, which houses the museum, was gutted by a blaze believed to have been started by roofers using a blowtorch.

The council has pledged to maintain the building’s civic role and incorporate the restoration into its long-term strategy for the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle area.

In addition to reopening the museum, the council hopes to create an enhanced library and a new flexible space that can be used for community events, exhibitions and performances.

The council is now launching a public consultation to solicit the views of local residents, groups and businesses on its proposals. A detailed plan incorporating the consultation results will be published next year.

Councillor Fiona Colley said: “We have a clear vision to create a civic centre in Walworth that sets a new standard as a world-class public space. We want a civic building that will be right at the heart of the community, an amazing public place that is open and accessible to all.”

The museum lost two of its three displays in the fire and suffered water damage to its stored collection. One further artefact was stolen after thieves broke into the burnt-out building.

The museum's summer events programme is continuing to run at other venues.