Work on £6.5m history and culture centre in Brixton forced to stop after contractor goes into administration

The construction of the UK’s first centre for black history and culture has been hit by the collapse of its main contractor Killby & Gayford.

The Brixton centre - a £6.5m scheme developed by the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) and Lambeth council - has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the mayor of London and will house more than 10,000 archives on the history of black people in this country

Construction, which involves a new building and the refurbishment of the derelict grade-II listed Raleigh Hall of Windrush Square, began with enabling works in January but was abruptly halted last month after 150-year-old Killby & Gayford went into administration.

The BCA - which was hoping to open the centre in April next year - told Building that this would delay the project by at least three months while the job is re-tendered.

“We are greatly disappointed - we had a great relationship with Killby & Gayford,” BCA director Paul Reid said, adding that the client was “determined to progress”.

The construction team involves architect Pringle Richards Sharratt and QS Turner & Townsend.

Lambeth Council declined to comment.