Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts & Other Busyness

CoolTan Arts Centre To Close

Squall 7, Summer 1994, pg. 8.

After months of trying to raise enough money to purchase the Old Dolehouse in Brixton, the squatters who occupied the building in 1992 have failed with their bid to secure the property for further community use.

Cool Tan Arts has built up an exuberant reputation in the Brixton area and beyond, as a place where musical events, vegetarian cafes, a multitude of workshops and community activities thrived.

The Old Dolehouse provided shelter, a cosmopolitan exchange of ideas and cultures that grew up and outwards of the energy and vision of the squatters.

The local council planning department had originally expressed a wish that the building remain in community use after it was sold by its owners, the Department of Social Security. However, despite a well structured business plan, swelling Cool Tan’s bid to £160 000, the open market preferred by the DSS proved no protector of community usage.

Both the London Arts Board and City Challenge had approved Cool Tan’s intentions for the building but the DSS accepted a bid of £200 000 from a local commercial newspaper The Voice, who plan to convert the building into offices.

The squatters are now in negotiation with The Voice to find out how long they have left before eviction.

Related Articles
CoolTan: Past, Present, Future - Four years of grass-roots culture and a future land. Squall 11, Autumn 1995.