Arts & Culture  Features

What’s The Workshop All About?

The Workshop Exterior 1

Published on
June 14, 2017


Built in 1937, this 2,000sqm space was once the fire engine workshops of the London Fire Brigade (LFB). The LFB moved its headquarters to Southwark in 2007, by which point, most servicing and repairs were being carried out at the Brigade’s secondary workshop site in Ruislip, leaving the building empty for almost ten years.

In November 2016, it opened its doors once again to provide a temporary community and events space in the heart of Lambeth. The Workshop, created and managed by regeneration specialist U+I, is now a nucleus of creativity and learning for the local community to enjoy. Since opening, it has welcomed over 5000 visitors and has been popping up as the host of several grand events and fantastic groups.

Visitors to The Workshop can enjoy the London Fire Brigade Pop-up Museum, which provides a unique opportunity to find out more about the history of the Brigade. This exhibition explores key events which connect the Lambeth site to the history and development of London’s fire service. It’s free to visit and there are also modern fire engines and equipment on display as well as a selection of the Brigade’s video and photograph archives. It has been designed to give visitors a taste of what the new permanent museum will look like within the regeneration of 8 Albert Embankment. For more information on these proposals, visit

On Wednesday 26th July, the LFB Museum will be showing an exclusive exhibition about the Massey Shaw fireboat and her role in rescuing soldiers form the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War (in time for Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk releasing this summer).

The Workshop also houses a mix of charities, social and start up entrepreneurs and artists, all with creativity at their heart. This includes Kidesign, Vivid Drinks, Progress London, Meanwhile Club, Mark Lloyd Bennett Design and multi-disciplinary artists Christopher Baxter, Luke Francis Haseler and Barry Reigate.

Institute of Imagination set up their Imagination Lab, a space where kids and families can dream big, let go of the “what if” and “I can’t” and be free to explore. It’s a space to reimagine the world, one with new products, new skills, new ideas and truly play with the power of imagination. This Sunday sees their next Lab Live event with a Metropolis theme, tickets are available here:

In April 2017, The Migration Museum opened their doors, inviting visitors to examine how Britain’s history, heritage, and culture have been shaped by migration. There are two opening exhibitions: ‘Call Me by My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond’ and ‘100 Images of Migration.’ These accompany the many plays, concerts, and discussion evenings held by the museum here. It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 5pm, with a special late opening until 9pm on Thursday 22 June as part of Refugee Week. The space is engaging the public with questions like “what is the role of the museum in migration?” and “what role does art or the artist play in the politics of displacement?” It’s free to visit so be sure to come on down!

There are lots of events for the community to enjoy and on the second Sunday of each month, The Workshop hosts Vauxhall Vintage: an antiques market that has art & accessories, architectural reclamations, brocante, collectors’ items, kitchenalia, you name it.

What’s more, the Vauxhall Cinema Club recently launched at The Workshop with a series of topical summer screenings that include: “A United Kingdom” and “Postcards from the Edge”.

With all these fantastic events and groups residing in The Workshop, it has quickly become a gem for local residents and Londoners alike. The space is a product of community consultations and carries creativity at the heart of everything it does. Check out their website to see what’s on right now and to book the space.

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