An Islington youth club says it is in a “precarious” financial position as its church landlord will absorb one of its main income streams.

Mary’s is an independent charity created by St Mary’s Church in 2009 to develop its community work. 

Its youth club runs an open access programme for young people aged between 10 and 19, focusing on creativity, life skills and volunteering.

Alumni include rapper Little Simz, who won the Mercury Prize in October.

The church decided last November not to renew the club's current lease on Mary’s community centre and crypt in Upper Street.

The church will assume direct management of the early years, childcare and community facilities run by Mary’s in the spaces from April.

The youth club will remain part of the charity under a new lease, keeping its office in the community centre and some use of the space at cost.

Aston Wood, youth development manager at Mary’s, said there are potential benefits of being a more independent organisation and not having responsibility for building maintenance.

However, the church will take over the charity’s business of hiring out its rooms for meetings and activities.

Mr Wood said: “That money would most years supplement any funds we couldn’t raise. So, if we had a particularly bad year and there was a big deficit in the youth club, we’d be able to rely on the healthy surplus from the business of renting rooms."

Last year, 120 groups used Mary’s rooms, and “community lettings/services” generated nearly a quarter (£155,952) of the charity’s £638,292 total income.

Mary’s already runs a first aid training business, and Mr Wood said he has been “challenged a lot” in developing other revenue streams to replace the income lost through room hire.

He said: “We’ve come through a pandemic, and we’ve got the cost of living crisis, so it would have been nicer this year if the organisation could have focused a bit more on supporting the community rather than having to plan for its own survival.”

He added: “It’s a precarious position. This youth club is one of many in London that’s at risk of closing down.”

“We still don’t really know what the church’s rationale for it all is,” he added.

Reverend James Hughesdon of St Mary’s Church said: “St Mary’s is continuing to support Mary’s youth work by providing supported office and work space within the church premises under a generous arrangement to enable them to continue to flourish.

“St Mary’s has been serving the people of Islington for almost 1,000 years, and we look forward to continuing to work together with Mary’s youth work to serve the people of Islington.”