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Community hub for Caledonian Road gains £30,000 cash boost

PUBLISHED: 12:31 16 March 2013

Crowds flock to the Cally Festival. Pic: Tony Gay

Crowds flock to the Cally Festival. Pic: Tony Gay

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

»A £30,000 bonanza has been awarded to a team of forward-thinking people trying to breathe new life into their area.

Team Cally, along with the Bemerton Village Management Organisation, has made a successful bid to Islington Council to create a new community hub around Caledonian Road, Islington.

The hub is the latest in a series of groundbreaking moves to turn the “Cally” into a destination for people across Islington and beyond.

In November, Cally Market was held for the first time, with a variety of stalls selling speciality food, treats and merchandise.

And for the past two summers the Cally Festival has drawn thousands of revellers with a family-friendly mix of music, food and art.

‘Really good news’

Mohammed Hammoudan, neighbourhood co-ordinator of Team Cally, said: “This is really good news. It’s another part of the revival of the area and, while not as glamourous as the festival or market, will boost people’s lives by providing more activities.”

The new hub will be the 12th in the borough, all of which receive grants from the council to help meet needs in their areas.

Lela Kogbara, Islington Council’s assistant chief executive for strategy and community partnerships, said: “Islington’s community hubs provide a range of important services for local residents close to where they live.

“The proposed Caledonian Community hub would make better use of existing local facilities, including empty and underused spaces.

“It would create new opportunities for local residents to access the services they need and to take part in local activities.”

The £30,000 was part of a host of grants bestowed on small initiatives at a meeting of the council’s voluntary and community sector committee last week.

The Sparkplug Motorcycle Project, in Pembroke Street, Islington, was handed £850 to pay for uniforms for the young people who receive an alternative education there through the medium of bike maintenance.

Highbury Grove School, in Highbury Grove, picked up £2,000 for tents to take children on outward-bound trips, while the Friends of Gillespie Park were also given £2,000, partly for plants and gardening equipment.

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