We are delighted that our Peckham based project Mountview, a theatre, drama and arts academy has been shortlisted for the category of ‘Theatre Building of the Year’ with The Stage Awards 2020.

The building is an exemplary combination of innovation, design and facilities.

  • Innovation
    • A new model for cultural buildings that brings together the industry, community and vocational training
    • Strategic partnerships across government and the arts
  • Design
    • A fully accessible building in a town centre setting creating new public realm
    • A design team of emerging and established practitioners including Charcoal Blue, Carl Turner Architects (now Turner Works) and Top Piper Designs
    • Top environmental credentials in design and management
  • Facilities
    • Two new theatres with fully accessible technical facilities
    • 21 studios and two TV studios
    • Production workshops
    • Rehearsal and meeting rooms all open to industry and community use


Importantly, though, the new building is a space for the local community to engage with and develop creative work.

Neighbouring residents enjoy discounted tickets and 11% of all tickets have been given free of charge to schools’ groups and residents from care homes.

Outside teaching times Mountview’s studios are given over, to creative and community uses ranging from local residents’ meetings, Tai-Kwon Do practice, hula-hoop performance and Leanne Pero’s revolutionary Movement Factory dance classes. All are offered for free or at reduced community rates.

Leanne Pero, founder of the Movement Factory who receive free studio space for their weekly classes, adds:

“Each week the studio spaces have been a haven for our dancers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford classes in such a polished setting. The Movement Factory is all about providing dance as a creative outlet, so the young people of Peckham can express themselves and build confidence and community together. We offer professional-level classes for our young people, and the spaces at Mountview reflect that level of professionalism. Because Mountview has been so generous in donating these spaces, we’ve been able to keep our classes free to all young people who want to join in, and grow these classes to reach more of the community than ever before.”

Since launching its young people’s programme, Generation N*xt, in January 2018, Mountview has enrolled 645 young people aged 6 to 18, with 274 of them receiving means tested bursaries for free and reduced price places worth over £23,000.

The mother of one seven-year-old participant said:

“It’s just a great opportunity, especially for families like myself, who are on the low income side. I never thought I could afford for her to come to such a prestigious drama school so it’s amazing, please please keep on going, thank you.”

Mountview’s schools’ outreach programme, the Bridge Project, has worked in nine local schools across the borough. Every term it brings together 45 pupils from schools with different social demographics to develop performance skills and to share work.

As local ward councillor Cleo Soanes says:

“Since it’s relocation to Peckham in 2018 Mountview has played its part as a selfless contributor towards the enhanced enrichment of the lives of the wider community. The affordable outreach program has attracted young people representative from Peckham’s diverse population to become engaged in all elements of performance arts who otherwise would have been denied the opportunity due to socio economic challenges.”

And Mountview works with communities further afield too. They have established a network of 43 grass roots theatre groups and community centres across the UK who identify young people with particular aptitude in performance or production arts and offer them free auditions and, if successful, bursaries through Mountview’s access to training fundraising programmes.

Winners will be announced on January 31, 2020.