After months of important works, 3-5 Thorpe Close is set to officially re-open in May 2024 as UNDR; a multi-purpose venue for music lovers and creatives alike, at the heart of Portobello.

Led by the Rokka Group, including Ben Ashbourn and brothers Shaun Edwards and Grant Sandy Phillips, UNDR is set to become a focal point for innovative live events, club nights, workshops, panel talks, and more. The founders of Rokka Group have a deep-rooted history in Carnival, with family-run Sound systems and a track record of curating events like Supa Dupa Fly and Solomons Yard.

Their commitment to innovation and community engagement, providing a platform for forward-thinking creativity and emerging new talent, celebrating the essence of music, culture, and community.

"We're thrilled to launch UNDR, a space that embodies the spirit of Soundsystem culture and supports emerging talent," said the UNDR team.

“We are extremely excited to be given an opportunity to work alongside the Trust. UNDR @ 3-5 Thorpe close will act as a creative hub which will provide much needed space for community use. We would like to extend our thanks to the staff team and the board, and will endeavour to make sure that UNDR becomes an integral part of this vibrant community for many years to come.”

In 2023, Westway Trust undertook a series of open conversations with important community stakeholders, to understand the most urgent community needs for the space. Following the programme of conversations, Westway Trust committed to an operating model that:

  • Respects the history of the space;
  • Acknowledges the opportunity that it presented for the African Caribbean community which was subsequently removed; and
  • Enables the space to be available for the diverse range of communities.

The appointment of Rokka Group as the operators of the space followed an open tender process, with a panel including community representatives. In the selection process, Rokka Group demonstrated a viable model of operation which retains important community access and respects the community’s priorities set out in 2023’s Open Conversations.