Fears over future of Brixton campus grow as petition launched to save the building


The building, part of Lambeth College, may be sold off.


By Tess De La Mare

A campaign is being launched to fight proposals to sell off or downsize the Brixton campus of Lambeth College.

On Monday night, the Lambeth College branch of the University and College Union met to discuss the controversial plans.

Lambeth, a further education college, has sites at Brixton, Vauxhall and Clapham. The plans for the Brixton Campus were first tabled in the summer, but the full details have not yet been published.

The proposals follow a decision taken in 2012 to convert Lambeth into an “employability focused college” with an emphasis on vocational qualifications after it received an “inadequate” rating from Ofsted inspectors in the same year. 

Mandy Brown, branch secretary for UCU Lambeth College, said the college had been struggling with debt for some time, and that there were worries that the Brixton site could be sold completely to pay-off debt and fund a major new development on the Clapham campus. 

She added that Mark Silverman, the principal and managing director of Lambeth since 2012, only has a business mindset and had not kept staff informed.

“It’s a private company for him, he runs it and he decides,” she said.

Mark Silverman was not available to comment, but said in a statement: “We have a great opportunity now to develop a new Lambeth College facility on the site and to ensure that the college is able to find the funds necessary for the redevelopment at Clapham and secure longer-term stability.”

He added the college was committed to maintaining a presence in Brixton, but said the current buildings were dilapidated, expensive to maintain and too big to use.

Attendees at the meeting countered that courses at Lambeth were actually over subscribed, and the college badly needed all the space on the Brixton site.

Ms Brown said: “Selling off assets should be a last resort. We don’t think the principal of our college should be making things worse.”

The meeting finished with attendees approving a motion to start a campaign to oppose the plans and launching a petition, which will be placed in local libraries, doctors’ surgeries and community centres. 

Photo courtesy of, with thanks.  

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