Surbiton's Museum of Futures was packed out last night for the launch of the quirky venue's latest addition - a community kitchen.

A very shiny new oven is just one of the kitchen installations at the former Brighton Road detective agency shop, which in its new guise has already hosted pop-up restaurants, music recording sessions, social media workshops for businesses and a boxing-based art installation.

But a vestige of its previous incarnation remains in the shape of a mysterious safe under the basement stairs that Community Brain organisers have been unable to access, and which will doubtless form the basis of a future Seething Wells caper.

Director Robin Hutchinson said: "What's magical about the kitchen is that for a lot of people who don't necessarily understand what the Museum of Futures is about, it's very practical.

"This is a dream that's accessible to a lot of different people. We're going to see more and more people getting engaged and hopefully trying it, realising their own ambitions."

The museum was conceived as a space for ideas to flow freely, and to allow people to try new things in a low-pressure environment. It became a reality thanks to funding from City Hall - and a lot of elbow grease.

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Elbow grease: Ann Bedford, Shirley Stapleton, Keith McMahon, Robin Hutchinson, Gemma Bull, Lynn Abrahams, Liz Lewis

Museum volunteer Gemma Bull said: "It's taken a lot of time and effort to get this far but it looks amazing. Every time the doors open we get people walking by, asking what it's about. I don't know what's next because we need people to come forward with more ideas."

Kingston mayor Cllr Geoff Austin said last night: "I'm sure it's the first of many similar projects that will gradually spring up across London. Once again, Kingston and Surbiton lead the way and others follow."

Read more: Community Brain given grant for Museum of Futures to foster Surbiton's creativity

Read more: Six months in: Museum of Future's community kitchen prepping for service in Surbiton

Kingston Council's Surbiton neighbourhood manager Gemma Gallant said: "I came to see this when Robin was doing the work and hanging doors. It smelled like wood and was all half-done. The transformation is amazing. It's really bringing some life to this end of Brighton Road."

Your Local Guardian:

Mystery: The safe under the stairs

The Community Brain's Simon Tyrrell said: "There was always hope and a kind of trust that the creativity and imagination and brilliance of people would out. It does give people the space and opportunity."

Mr Hutchinson added: "Sometimes you have to say what you want to do out loud to make it real, and people will come and help. It's the most incredibly supportive community.

"It's not just for our fun, it's actually making a lot of difference in a lot of people's lives. What prevents most people doing anything great is fear of failure.

"If you have a place where you know that if you fail, there are people to pick you up again, then you will risk it. And great things only come from risk."