Popping up at the palace

Shopping centre to host temporary culture space for local performers

Children's puppetry will be among the activities hosted at Palace Gardens Shopping Centre this autumn (credit Enfield Council)
Children’s puppetry will be among the activities hosted at Palace Gardens Shopping Centre this autumn (credit Enfield Council)

A pop-up arts and community hub is launching next month in Enfield Town.

‘Culture Palace’ inside Palace Gardens Shopping Centre will be a temporary, cultural playhouse that will host exhibitions, theatre, children’s books, art activities, workshops, a mindfulness café and more.

The hub will be run by the same team at Enfield Council responsible for running the cultural programme at the Dugdale Centre, which is currently being refurbished ahead of its reopening next year having previously been used as a Covid-19 vaccination centre for the past few months.

In addition, Pickled Pepper Books, an independent children’s bookshop and theatre company from Crouch End, will also use the space.

Palace Gardens will host a pop-up from Edmonton-based Artist Hive Studios. This pop-up – ‘Field’ – will bring in a range of artists to work on site, with a shopfront gallery space and a range of workshops and activities.

Field and Culture Palace will work together on special events and activities to get people from across Enfield involved. Paul Duke, Palace Gardens centre manager, said: “We are very excited to be hosting Culture Palace at Palace Gardens this autumn. Our shoppers are sure to find lots of great things to see and do.

“We expect visitors will enjoy their time at the arts and community hub in Palace Gardens so much that they will keep coming back to see what else there is and what’s new.”

Deputy leader Ian Barnes said: “Theatres, museums, libraries and art centres support our local economy, bring character to our town centres and connect and educate communities. This is a fantastic collaboration with Palace Gardens, to whom we’d like to extend our thanks for hosting this as the first of a series of culture and community pop-ups.”

Local arts and culture groups have been critical of the council’s future plans for the Dugdale, which will see more office space created on the first floor by reducing the space previously used by Enfield Local Studies Library and Archive, as well as others. The ground floor theatre and Museum of Enfield will remain.

Cllr Barnes added: “We have been proud to support the NHS Covid-19 vaccination efforts and are thrilled the Dugdale has welcomed more than 35,000 people to be vaccinated over the last few months. But we are also looking forward to the Dugdale Centre reopening as the borough’s beloved cultural hub in spring 2022.”

To find out more about Culture Palace: