The Spike Surplus Scheme, S London, RIP

Mark mark at
Wed Jan 28 08:18:54 GMT 2009

The Spike Surplus Scheme - a creative and therapeutic community in
Peckham, south London who have voluntarily built a thriving eco-garden
with arts, music, IT, film, drama, healthcare, yoga, martial arts and
gardening workshop facilities and much more - unfortunately lost their
challenge against a possession order on 17th December 2008.

Spike is a model of inner city sustainability, on a derelict site in
Peckham owned by Southwark Council. The project has been used by
multi-racial thousands of all ages and is poised to reach out to an even
wider community, particularly disaffected youth. Peckham is a notoriously
deprived area, with gun crime and gang membership rife and the Spike
Surplus Scheme is already set up, without hardly any funding to offer some

However, Southwark Council want to sell the land, although with the
current situation in the housing market and developers laying off
thousands, the likelihood is that the land would join the councils other
unsold sites and this wonderful unique facility would again become

All concerned, passionately believing in a sustainable future and genuine
community spirit, are desperately trying to buy the premises, but as
people who have worked more for love than money (or men of straw as the
lawyers deem us) we ask anyone who may be able to help to urgently come
forward, as we are very aware the Council wants the money fast.

Message from Spike:

The Spike Surplus Scheme

The Spike is Dead. Long Live the Spike.

Thank you to all who have been part of this magnificent community.

The Spike has launched an appeal for help finding a new location for the
project, or failing that, for individual elements of the project to
continue. The Spike Music Studio, the Spike Well-Being Space & the Spike
Community Garden all need re-housing to continue their work. If anyone can
be of help please contact us at info at or 020 7252 9733


The following was published in the Evening Standard (Mon 26 Jan):

Squatters give as well as take

There are the "squatters" the media likes to dwell on, who take much and
give nothing back, crashing then moving on. Then there are those driven by
mutual trust using squatting to bring a community together.

The Spike has been a community space for Peckham's poor for 160 years.
eleven years ago it was abandoned by the local authority, then thrashed
and fly-tipped. A group of locals took responsiblity for the site and with
no outside funding repaired and reopened it. it has become a very large
and diverse community, involving hundreds.

In 2005, Southwark granted The Spike a two-year lease. Then in 2008,
despite the project's offer to rent or buy the site, the council called
time and it looks like the site will once again become forgotten and
fly-tipped. Further legislation on squatting isn't necessary, but councils
should become more respectful of grassroots initiatives.
D, Malcolmson, Spike Surplus Scheme

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