Sorry news from Croydon, where creative hub Matthews Yard is winding up operations.
The non-profit organisation has won plaudits for its mix of co-working space, cafe, bar, gallery and crowd-funded theatre. It has helped reinforce Croydon's creative reputation arguably more than any other local venture.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Matthews Yard is soon to close as its building awaits demolition. The farewells began in a tweet of 2 January:
Croydon you have been amazing and we hope 2020 and beyond is as kind to you, as you have been to us. Sadly, our time is almost up. We will be closing the doors for good at 1 Matthews Yard on 22/02/20. Until then, enjoy what we built together while you can. Peace. x pic.twitter.com/CGlryfd00i— Matthews Yard (@MatthewsYard) January 2, 2020
Founded by Saif Bonar in the wake of the Croydon riots of 2011, Matthews Yard has touched many people's lives, as can readily be seen from the stream of replies to the above tweet.
Sad news - great community venue. We need more, not less, of these spaces. There always seemed to be one community group or other meeting there. Good beer and vegan food too! ✌️and 💚— Dr Varyl Thorndycraft (@VarylT) January 3, 2020
We're gutted. But we want you to know that without the @matthewsyard project to inspire us, we would not exist. You blazed that trail for us at a time when the #croydon reputation desperately needed it. Thanks for all you did and we hope we'll see more offshoots in the future!!— The Ludoquist (@TheLudoquist) January 2, 2020
The battered grey door will close for good on 22 February 2020. The venue's passing is a sad loss to the creative life of Croydon, and we can only hope the project is reborn soon at another site.