London

Brixton black heritage centre project awarded £5m

A derelict Grade-II listed building is to be transformed into a heritage centre for archives documenting black British life and culture.

A £4m lottery grant will be used to convert Raleigh Hall in Brixton, south London, into a permanent home for the Black Cultural Archives.

It will house about 10,000 documents, including photographs, periodicals and letters, dating back five centuries.

The mayor of London will also donate £1m to the project.

Lambeth Council has gifted a 99-year lease on the venue in Windrush Square and will donate £910,000 over five years.

'Global resource'

The building will be a resource centre, complete with a reference library open to schools, students and the public.

Matthew Ryder, chairman of the Black Cultural Archives, said: "The movement of the BCA to a permanent, purpose-built home is itself an historic moment.

"We believe it will enable the BCA to become a global resource and a leading heritage site in London."

Wesley Kerr, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund's committee for London, said: "The Black Cultural Archives' wonderful and growing collection is cherished by the local community and reflects the important contribution black Britons have made to all aspects of life in London and throughout the UK."

Mayor Boris Johnson said the new centre would give scholars a "greater understanding of our country's rich heritage and inspiring people of all ages and communities".

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