May 25 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Plans for a brand new £1.75million home for a community centre have been unveiled as bulldozers tear into its iconic former building.
The fate of the Highbury Roundhouse, in Ronalds Road, Highbury, has hung in the balance for years but its future now looks more certain after blueprints were submitted to Islington Council.
The former Victorian bottleworks became a community centre to give kids something to do back in 1976 – but after 34 successful years it was forced to close in 2010 when the structure was declared dangerous.
The council initially said the building would be too expensive to repair and planned to knock it down and sell it to housing developers.
But after a campaign from residents the town hall agreed to let the Highbury Roundhouse Association (HRA) build a new centre as long as they could come up with the £1.75million needed.
Tony Miller, secretary to the HRA, said: “The old building is now being demolished and it was really important to us to have plans for a new building in place before the old one was razed to the ground, so people can see the Roundhouse has a life and a future.
“We are very happy with the plans for the new building.”
The new structure will contain all the facilities of the old, plus accommodate offices that used to be housed in another property in Ronalds Road.
Mr Miller said: “We will have a hall, a dance studio, youth club, IT suite and an early years centre. We will also have a heritage centre so people can see the history of the Roundhouse.”
A public consultation on the building runs until March 18, with the plans expected to go before a council committee in April.
“We are still raising the money, but it’s going to be a lot easier if we have planning permission – our investors won’t put money into dreams.
“And as long as we show the council we have a viable way to raise the money, hopefully they will pass the application.”