It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post or an article in the Croydon Citizen outlining the situation with Matthews Yard. While we have released snippets of information here and there, there hasn’t been an in-depth update for our shareholders, creditors, members and supporters to tie it all together.
In May 2017 we discovered through a facebook post that property developers had put in an offer to buy the building at 5 – 9 Surrey street to demolish the building and bring forward a development of luxury apartments with a significantly reduced commercial, community and cultural offering.
When we originally found out, Saif wrote an article for the Croydon Citizen which highlighted the situation we were faced with and explained why we would not run a Save Matthews Yard campaign. Yet here we are, nearly 6 months later doing exactly that. Why?
At the time, we were confident that we already had the attention and backing of the right people in the right places to ensure regeneration in Croydon was done differently and that the precious things we hold dear are preserved. We have been in discussions with Croydon council and the Greater London Authority and while both have been supportive of Matthews Yard and sympathetic to the situation we are faced with, we are still no closer to a firm commitment of anything other than verbal support. As time passes, we have become increasingly concerned that some key influencers are apathetic to the needs of the community and blindly supportive of demolition plans which will not only destroy what we have worked so hard to create, but will cause significant disruption to local businesses and residents in the process. Because of this risk we launched the #SaveMatthewsYard campaign to preserve MY for the benefit of future generations.
In June we published our Impact Report. It quantifies the contribution MatthewsYard has made to Croydon’s cultural, entrepreneurial and creative community over the years. In the report we made public our intention to pursue conversion to Community Interest Company status. As a CIC Matthews Yard becomes eligible for additional support and protection which it cannot obtain as a for profit company. As a CIC all our assets and 100% of profits will be locked into meeting our community objectives.
To help generate awareness of our plight and to demonstrate our popularity to decision makers we launched a petition on change.org a few weeks ago. We now have almost 3,000 signatures and have been featured on ITV news and had words of support and encouragement from hundreds of local people and organisations, including some amazing video testimonials. Thank you all for your time, energy and support so far. We still have a long way to go, but with your support, we are confident a solution can be found.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to our campaign you can make a donation here. Donations will be used to help cover the costs associated with conversion to CIC status and to help keep the community theatre, gallery and our events space operational while the cloud of uncertainty hangs over us.
If you want to get involved in the #SaveMatthewsYard campaign and have ideas or suggestions on how you can help, then please get in touch with us.
In April 2017 Matthews Yard celebrated 5 years in business. It was our lowest key birthday yet with celebrations centering on a blog post and some social media activity. The last 5 years have been challenging and rewarding in equal measure but in recent months we have seen some of the most turbulent times yet. [Read more…]
After the unfortunate departure of Hoodoo’s we have taken the opportunity to review our operating model and implement some important changes to improve the Matthews Yard experience for everyone.
At the end of last year our shareholders approved our takeover of The Exchange Workspace, next door to Matthews Yard. The combined premises will give us more than 10,000 sq ft of space dedicated to supporting the needs of a diverse range of Croydon’s creative community. Our unique combination of art gallery, theatre, coworking and private suites are served with quality food from two concessions who between them open 7 days a week. With the workspace comes 1Gb fibre internet which is being rolled out in the theatre, restaurant, and lounge over the Summer of 2017. This will give us rock solid wifi, while opening up a world of live streaming capabilities.
Five years of Matthews Yard. Happy Birthday to us!
Today we celebrate 5 years since we opened to the public in Croydon on 21 April 2012. It’s been a hell of a journey. Loaded with challenges and peppered with unexpected dramas along the way. Our original vision as a hub for technology businesses has evolved into a vision of supporting the spectrum of creative entrepreneurs, primarily through the provision of flexible and affordable space.
In late November 2014 I got an email from someone interested in taking over the Kitchen at Matthews Yard for a couple of evenings a week. It wasn’t something we had considered before. On the 26th November I met Adam Jackowski, Tom Yip and Daniel Esteban for the first time.
Three twenty-somethings, with no experience, little money and full time jobs. So many questions. Were they ready? Were they serious? Could we afford to spend hundreds of hours devising a way to make it work? Was it just a distraction? Could they hack it? Would our landlord allow it?
Croydon Creative Month is a new idea we came up with at Matthews Yard a few days ago to help showcase and celebrate what Croydon has to offer businesses and individuals working in the creative industries. It started out as an intention to host 3 or 4 events to help fill a seasonally quiet time in the cafe. It’s quickly growing into much more. [Read more…]
Lauren Furey, from BoxPark Croydon penned this piece which embraces Croydon’s changing landscape but also reiterates the importance of established spaces like Matthews Yard. Read the full article here: I’m on the side of Change.
We are excited for the year ahead and delighted to be shifting focus from survival to expansion by increasing our capacity to support local creatives. We start 2017 with the formal takeover of the Exchange Workspace, giving us more than 12,000 sq ft dedicated to nurturing creative and artistic talent in Croydon. We are borrowing 30k towards the costs of completing refurbishment work.
We started the year with a full complement of concessions operating out of Matthews Yard. New additions Hoodoo’s Coffee & Eats and Theatre Utopia were finding their feet and building on the solid work of Brgr&Beer, Hoodoo’s Live Room and the Descart.es gallery in continuing to place Matthews Yard at the forefront of not only Croydon’s arts, cultural and food scene, but also it’s regeneration. A steady flow of awards and recognition in local and national press are testimony to the outstanding work being done by Matthews Yard and by each of the businesses operating within it.