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Radio station could move into derelict Gospel Oak garages

London School of Mosaic moved on to the estate in 2017

15 July, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Architect Tom Dobson (Public Works) and David Tootill, the director the London School of Mosaic, who are hoping to redevelop the site in Gospel Oak

DERELICT garages in Gospel Oak could be transformed in a plan that would see a radio station move in, helping to get young people’s voices on air.

The London School of Mosaic (LSoM) is working with architects to bring back to life dozens of empty garages under the Ludham estate, on the corner of Mansfield Road and Southampton Road.

They plan to convert almost 1,700sqm of vacant garages into community spaces, which will also play host to a radio station that has previously offered training to young people in Canning Town. Urban Xtra Radio, working alongside Camden Against Violence (CAV), are looking to bring their project to Camden to train young people in radio and get them presenting on air.

Greg Tello was one of a group who helped found the online station to offer free opportunities against a backdrop of youth violence in London.

Mr Tello said: “Most of us have lost friends through violence or accidents and we’ve seen the impact of these things. In reality we could see there was a clear need for something like this, and the station has taken off in a big way.”

He added: “Through our means of training we identify the ones that have got a genuine interest and passion and get them on air as quickly as possible – and train them at the same time.”

Terry Ellis, from CAV, said: “The good thing about music is that you can put a kid in the studio and the environment brings out their creativity – you can see them flourish. Most are very articulate, they are so bright, and it’s just giving them that opportunity to express themselves in a way they want to.”

Terry Ellis

LSoM, an independent art school which teaches mosaic art, moved on to the estate in August 2017, and has since started adult courses as well as classes for schoolchildren. According to planning documents, the garages were closed about four decades ago after tenants reported “feeling unsafe” to the council.

Camden’s finance chief, Councillor Richard Olszewski, is supportive of the project and said it was “about time the garages were put to good use”.

He added: “The council is hugely supportive of projects that bring vacant spaces into use, particularly where they provide affordable space and opportunities for socially impactful uses.”

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