Orpington Priory Regeneration Project: Meeting 10 December

Bromley Civic Society commented in June about the sad fate of Bromley’s Museum and the Orpington Priory buildings in which it was based.

The Council has decided that the Priory is surplus to its requirements and the fate of the Grade II listed buildings is now in the balance. However, the steering group of OPRP has been working on plans to persuade the council to let their group take over the Priory and run it for the local community instead of the buildings being sold. Bromley Civic Society strongly supports this approach.

The Priory buildings and gardens were bought for the people of Orpington by the former Urban District Council in 1949 and OPRP want it to remain in the community. They believe that if the Priory is sold to a developer it will mean the loss to the people of Bromley of one of its oldest and most historically valuable buildings. The Priory was successfully listed as an Asset of Community Value earlier this year something that will help to support the process if the Priory is to become a community hub.

It is intended that the proposed hub will focus on arts & heritage, community use, business use and education. One of the biggest losses with the closing of the museum has been the programme of educational visits offered to local schools, and OPRP want to re-introduce visits based on the National Curriculum. OPRP believe that by providing a community hub they will be contributing to the health and well-being of the local community, as set out in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework.

OPRP will appoint its Board of Trustees next week and register as a charitable company, after which it will register with Bromley Council its intention to bid for the Priory as an asset of community interest.

Following the inaugural meeting of the trustees there will be an open meeting to give out information on OPRP’s plans for the buildings which, should the bid be successful, will become a community hub offering Heritage, Arts, Performing Arts, Education, business and community spaces:

Everyone interested in the Priory buildings is invited to attend the meeting at 8.15 p.m. on Thursday 10th December at The Coronation Hall, Bridge Road, Poverest, St. Mary Cray.

If you would like to support OPRP in any way or find out more about their work, please contact Sally Pennington at the following email address: sfp1351@gmail.com

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