Introducing the new Montmartre: it's Del boy's manor, Peckham SE15

It's not as odd as it sounds – the deprived south London area is rebranding itself as the capital's contemporary art hub, much like the Parisian district during the 19th and 20th centuries

One boasts the Sacré-Coeur, Salvador Dali, Picasso and Van Gogh. The other has abandoned car parks and dark echoes of the murder of Damilola Taylor. On the face of it, Paris's famed Montmartre and London's infamous Peckham have very little in common. But all that is about to change.

The Southwark district will throw off its associations with Del Trotter of TV's Only Fools and Horses and relaunch itself as London's artists' quarter, the UK's answer to the French capital's right bank.

At the heart of a 10-year plan to be launched in May is a growing community of artists who have based themselves in the area. "Peckham is the place," said Hannah Barry, a gallery owner. "It's where people are coming to find the best in international contemporary art."

Admittedly, it has nothing to rival Paris's basilica. Instead, it has made the most of a white elephant 10-storey car park. Four years ago Ms Barry held the first Bold Tendencies, a summer-long sculpture exhibition, on the top four floors of the car park, to which she has added Frank's, a rooftop pop-up restaurant. Some 300 visitors came to see the specially commissioned pieces. Last summer there were 45,000, and as many as 100,000 people are expected this June.

The car park's rebirth as a sculpture venue has given it a new lease of life. Nearby, in part of the Bussey Building, a former arms factory, 60 artists have created studios. In another area of the massive Victorian pile, one of London's leading rave venues has been established, with recording studios, editing suites, a theatre and community space to be added this year.

One of the longest residents is Garudio Studiage, a co-operative of four artists specialising in screen printing, jewellery and painting. Jeweller Laura Cave said: "Peckham feels like it isn't England. It's so multicultural and it's a great inspiration for what we do."

The building is in the seven-acre Copeland Industrial Park, which was at one time earmarked by Transport for London as a tram depot. Artists and local business saw off that plan, and now, with local authority backing, plan to transform the area into the Copeland Cultural Quarter, with more art galleries, shops and cafés, an open market and events space.

In Peckham Road, north of Copeland, the South London Gallery reopened last year after a £1.6m extension. A few doors away is Camberwell College of Art; its initiative to bring art into the community spawned Peckham Space, which opened last May next to Will Alsop's award-winning Peckham Library.

Realistically, the area has a long way to go before it can hope to rival its Parisian counterpart. Nevertheless, art and artists have given Peckham's supporters reasons to be hopeful. They point out that Montmartre's days as a hub for artists have passed, while Peckham's artistic development is just beginning.

Peckham vs Montmartre

Art

Peckham Peckham Rye Common was the inspiration of poet and painter William Blake. Currently home to Hannah Barry, Sven Münder, Paloma Gormley and other cutting-edge British artists.

Montmarte Home and inspiration to artists including Picasso, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Monet and Dali.

Film

Peckham The multiplex may lack the showbiz glamour of its Montmartre cousin but it provides year-round entertainment.

Montmartre Championed by the award-winning actress Fanny Ardant, the Cinéma des Cinéastes is a showcase for French cinema and hosts several film premieres a year.

Restaurants

Peckham Persepolis is a deli renowned for its Persian delicacies.

Montmartre Le Wepler is one of the most famous of Montmartre's many brasseries and bistros. It was a meeting point for such luminaries as Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Henry Miller.

Transport

Peckham Not served by the Underground but has two overland stations – Peckham Rye and Queen's Road, Peckham.

Montmartre Eight Métro stations along three different lines. The closest is one stop away from the Gare du Nord, which connects Paris to London on the Eurostar.

Cemeteries

Peckham Nearby Nunhead cemetery is one of the great Victorian burial grounds. Its memorials to the dead include the musical hall star Jenny Hill and Frederick Abel, co-inventor of cordite.

Montmartre One of the great Parisian cemeteries, the final resting place of the composer Berlioz and the film director François Truffaut.

Landmarks

Peckham The library and community centre won the Stirling Prize for architecture in 2000 and attracted more than 500,000 visitors when it first opened.

Montmartre The Sacré-Coeur basilica is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris.

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee