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About

Manor House Library has been operating for over 100 years, in 2017 it changed from being a council-run library to a community model library. Your library membership has not changed, your book-borrowing rights will not change and there will be little or no impact on the way books are reserved, borrowed or returned. The Library still  benefits from access to over a quarter of a million books owned by Lewisham Libraries, and a network of over five million books in the wider London system.

Our Community Library

As a community we were opposed to cuts in library services and we fought against them for as long as we could, but it eventually became clear that in this economic and political climate these current library cuts were inevitable. It was also clear that Lewisham Council, unlike many local authorities, took their library responsibilities seriously. The council were vehemently opposed to closing any libraries, they did not want to cut opening times, and were actively seeking partners who would run the libraries as libraries. V22 took over the management of Forest Hill Library, in collaboration with The Forest Hill Society and The Forest Hill Traders’ Association, in 2016 and the council approached us to take on Manor House the following year.

Beyond The Library

Manor House is, of course, so much more than just a library. As well as being an iconic building and the grand house that stands on the edge of the award winning Manor House Gardens, it is also home to Manor House Daycare, Manor House and Park View Midwives, several artists who rent studio space within its walls and three community rooms that are used for a wide variety of functions including classes, workshops, band practice, conferences, productions, parties, weddings and meetings. Prices start from only £15 an hour to hire space at Manor House, for more details please email info@mhlibrary.co.uk

 

V22

V22 is a multifaceted art organisation, with a shared ownership structure, which specialises in the collection of contemporary art, the production of exhibitions and events, the provision of artists’ studios, workspaces and artisans’ workshops at affordable rates, and the running of community engagement and education programmes.

V22’s mission is to build a new kind of art institution. Through V22’s shared ownership model key beneficiaries contribute to the decisions that affect V22 as well as its social impact and objectives. This means that the prevention of social ‘mission drift’ is intrinsically built into V22’s structure.

V22 have been responsible for the recent refurbishment and management of Louise House, also in Forest Hill, and run the Community Studio there. V22 Communities is a charity, recently established, that now as responsibility for both Manor House and Forest Hill Libraries. Among the trustees of V22 Communities are Ralph White, chair of the Lee Manor Society, and Michael Abrahams, chair of the Forest Hill Society.

Day to day management of Manor House is the responsibility of Simon Higgs, a Blackheath resident with business interests across Lewisham, including running a social enterprise business and the administration of a local charitable community association.

You

If you are reading this you are probably an interested stakeholder and hopefully part of the future of Manor House Library. Please contact us should you have any queries or questions, suggestions, comments or offers of help. We are currently still a small team but will endeavor to answer all your questions either via email, through the website or in forums, or in person at the library.