The Synergy Centre was born out of the now legendary Synergy Project ‘conscious parties’ that were held at the SEOne Club in London between 2003 and 2008. The first Centre was in a converted warehouse in the deprived South London community of Camberwell, which provided affordable events, rehearsal and workshop space to local families, community groups and social enterprises between 2005 and 2009. The Centre also delivered a Youth Inclusion Project for local young people at risk of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour which was funded by the Camberwell Neighbourhood Renewal department of Southwark Council. Sadly, the centre had to be closed when the building was sold to prominent artist Anish Kapoor for use as a studio and storage facility.
The second Synergy Centre was located in a disused and semi-derelict former night club on West Street, central Brighton. Between 2015 and 2017, the Synergy team conducted an extensive programme of renovations, delivered by a large team of volunteers, before opening the venue to local promoters to hold more creative and conscious events than are normally found on West Street, where a culture of binge drinking and anti-social behaviour that is found in many city and town centres prevails. The centre team organised a number of their own events to promote topical social issues and organised projects working with the local rough-sleeping community.
The highlight of the Brighton Synergy Centre was hosting The World Transformed, a 4 day conference organised by Momentum to run parallel to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton in September 2017. Many of the leading figures of the UK’s progressive community attended or spoke, including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Owen Jones and Paul Mason.
A video of TWT 2017, featuring the Brighton Synergy Centre.
The Brighton Synergy Centre closed in October 2017 to enable the building, one of Brighton’s oldest and largest music and arts venues, to be demolished to make way for a budget hotel.
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While the Synergy Centre charitable company has ceased trading, the people behind the Camberwell and Brighton Centres are currently working on other projects with sister charity Indigenous People, while exploring angles on opening a Synergy Centre in Bristol, under a new legal umbrella, as well as an Accra Synergy Centre in Ghana and a rural Synergy Eco-Village in the Kwahu region of central Ghana.