Search

Caledonian Park clock tower gets go-ahead after winning £2m in Heritage Lottery Fund cash

PUBLISHED: 18:02 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 18:31 01 December 2016

An artist's impression of how the clock tower and visitors' centre will look. Picture: Islington Council

An artist's impression of how the clock tower and visitors' centre will look. Picture: Islington Council

Archant

Controversial plans to build a visitor’s centre at the foot of the Caledonian Park clock tower have won £2million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Caledonian Park clock tower protest after Islington Council granted planning permission for the centre last year. Picture: Mike Power Caledonian Park clock tower protest after Islington Council granted planning permission for the centre last year. Picture: Mike Power

This afternoon’s decision effectively means the £2.8m building at the north gate of the park, which includes a heritage centre, toilets and a cafe, will go ahead. The town hall will stump up £921,000, while Southern Housing have ploughed in £33,000.

The council also expects to get £6,000 from hiring out the venue and selling refreshments at the cafe.

It comes at the end of a bitterly-fought campaign by Save Cally Park and the Clocktower Residents’ Group, who fear the centre’s design means it will be a magnet for anti-social behaviour and spoil views across the park.

Clocktower Residents’ Group vice-chair Mike Power told the Gazette earlier this year: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for drug dealers, drug users and prostitutes. This all goes on in the park at the moment. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but now it could get worse.”

An artist's impression of the visitor centre buildings next to the Caledonian Park clock tower. Picture: Islington Council An artist's impression of the visitor centre buildings next to the Caledonian Park clock tower. Picture: Islington Council

The plans also involve restoring the Grade II-listed clock tower itself.

Final designs were submitted in February, angering campaigners who said their fears had been “consistently and arrogantly brushed aside”. Islington’s environment boss Cllr Claudia Webbe disagreed, saying the plans had been altered to take into account some of the group’s concerns. They were given planning permission in July.

Cllr Webbe said today: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the strengths of this project and the invaluable opportunities it offers to celebrate and preserve our history for future generations.

“This clock tower is a jewel in Islington’s crown, and the new heritage centre and refurbished clock tower will pay a fitting tribute to the iconic status of the tower and the former market.

The Save Cally Park group in front of the clock tower in Caledonian Park. The Save Cally Park group in front of the clock tower in Caledonian Park.

“With the help of volunteers, we can bring this history alive in an engaging way for the 21st Century, and put the park and clock tower proudly back at the heart of the community in a new way.

“We are committed to working closely with all residents to create a truly sustainable heritage centre that also offers all park visitors a warm welcome thanks to a new café and toilets.

“I look forward to working with local residents and the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the project the success I know it can be.”

In January, leaked documents revealed more than 60 per cent of responses to public surveys were against the plans.

"The council will work with residents and stakeholder groups on a construction management plan to keep disruption to a minimum during the build process, and also help shape guidelines for managing the centre once it’s open"

Council spokesman

Campaigners also hit out at the council’s consultation, which cost more than £330,000, claiming further cash would be lost because not enough people would want to volunteer at, or visit, the project when it was complete.

But the town hall vowed today: “The council will work with residents and stakeholder groups on a construction management plan to keep disruption to a minimum during the build process, and also help shape guidelines for managing the centre once it’s open.

“Together we will ensure the centre is the best possible neighbour.”

What do you think? E-mail gazette.letters@archant.co.uk

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00

Think you’re an expert on Islington’s boozers? Well, pub fanatic Johnny Homer knows more. He’s written a book about the history of our most interesting watering holes.

Fri, 18:54

An army of 51 headteachers from schools across Islington have slammed funding cuts to education on an afternoon in which families came in their droves to the borough’s parks for the nationwide ‘big assembly’.

Fri, 16:56

It was the most anticipated Caledonian Road shop opening in a generation.

Fri, 12:49

A London Metropolitan University student has been jailed for 15 years for planting a home-made bomb on a busy Tube train.

Fri, 07:48

A Catholic priest who repeatedly raped and assaulted boys is facing jail.

Fri, 07:00

Scars of the past have yet to heal for neighbours of a controversial former Holloway Road nightclub. After seeing off the People’s Club for good last year, they are now protesting after Islington Council received a new application for a lesbian social club in the same premises.

Thu, 16:10

The results are in after Islington Greens and Tufnell Park Parents unleashed “citizen science” to measure air pollution levels across the borough.

Thu, 15:58

The courtyard at Islington Police Station currently doubles as a showroom for stolen mopeds.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now