Harriet Harman launches the start of building works for Mountview

Harriet Harman today (Tuesday 16 May) visited the site of a major new home for world-class drama training in the centre of Peckham, south London. Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Camberwell and Peckham was joined by Leader of Southwark Council Cllr Peter John, Mountview’s Principal Stephen Jameson, first year acting students and notable figures from the Peckham community at the site at Eagle Wharf in SE15.

Harriet Harman said: ‘Mountview coming to Southwark will provide important opportunities for the hugely talented young people of Peckham to get involved in arts and theatre, open up career choices and build on Peckham’s already vibrant arts scene.

Every child has the right to explore their artistic and creative potential, and research shows creative and cultural learning supports attainment in all subjects. I look forward to working with Mountview, schools and Southwark Council to make this move a success for the local community and the UK’s creative industries.’

Mountview’s new home marks an exciting new chapter for the drama school and for Peckham. The 9,500m2 development will comprise first rate training facilities, 18 dance and acting studios, two public theatre spaces, two TV studios, a radio suite, production facilities, a West End-scale commercial rehearsal space and co-working space, a café and bars, and a rooftop restaurant.

This multi-purpose building allows Mountview to offer a unique model of drama training, providing a centre for students, industry professionals and the community to come together and creatively engage and collaborate in one building.

Principal Stephen Jameson said: ‘Mountview has been in temporary accommodation for over 30 of its 72 years, so today is a truly momentous occasion. Not only do we get to realise our dream of having a state of the art facility to underpin our world-class training, but we also get the opportunity to achieve our cultural vision of embedding arts education and engagement within our community. Peckham is vibrant, exciting and proud place and we can’t wait to be a part of it.’

Cllr Peter John said: ‘The future of Peckham is looking even brighter. Mountview will bring a new vitality to Southwark’s fantastic cultural ecology, and I am very pleased to be here today to mark this significant step. Southwark Council is committed to ensuring that the borough is beacon for the arts in the capital.’

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the area Harriet Harman took a short break from campaigning to meet Mountview’s Principal Stephen Jameson, Executive Director Sarah Preece and Capital Committee Chair Vincent Wang. Local councillors present included Barrie Hargrove and Johnson Situ.