The Albany are delighted to announce that they were awarded Best Social Enterprise at the Mayor of Lewisham Business Awards on Thursday 19 October.

The Award celebrates voluntary and community organisations in the borough who use a social enterprise model to deliver services which meet local needs.

Gavin Barlow, Chief Executive, the Albany said: ‘Having worked hard to almost triple in size as an organisation over the last few years and forge partnerships that take creative experiences into the heart of communities, reach isolated participants and foster a sense of community and possibility, the recognition this award represents is hugely welcome. We’re hugely grateful to Lewisham Council for their on-going support which has been vital in enabling this.’

The Albany now has over 50 employees with over 100 people working in the building (as its home to 26 resident organisations). They also support young people’s access into employment through paid internships, placements, and apprenticeships. They support new local artists and small cultural businesses to establish their own enterprises providing free or cheap office and rehearsal space, advice and financial support. In the 2016/17 financial year they provided 1,356 days of employment for artists, supported 36 businesses and 290 community organisations used their facilities.

Outcomes from the 2016/17 financial year at the Albany further demonstrate their impact as a social enterprise engaging their communities:

  • An audience of 54,879 attended Albany events (including affordable, pay-what-you-decide and free events),an increase of 30% from the previous year
  • Participation numbers were over 23,000 across programmes, an increase of over 40% from the previous year
  • Footfall in the Albany building increased to 278,000 with a combined footfall across the three buildings managed by the Albany of just under a million people

The Albany also have a superb track record in fundraising and income generation – increasingly vital as budget cuts impact local and national governments. In 2016/17 they increased income raised from grants and donations by 39%.

Their earned income continues to increase year on year and accounted for 58% of total turnover in 2016/17.