New Highbury Roundhouse to be built
The race is on to raise �1.75million after a deal to re-build a popular community centre was agreed by the council.
The Highbury Roundhouse in Ronalds Road, Highbury, was closed in August 2010 after the structure was declared dangerous and services moved to other sites.
It had been feared that the building, a former Victorian bottleworks, would be demolished and the land given over to developers.
A campaign was launched by local residents to save the building, which lead to a public consultation.
Under the eventual deal the Roundhouse will be demolished, but if the Housing Roundhouse Association (HRA) come up the cash for a new building by December 31, the council will give them a 99-year-lease on it.
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Part of the site will still be sold to a housing developer.
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If the HRA can’t get the money a new centre will still be built, but by a developer instead, meaning it’s future would be less certain.
Tony Miller, secretary to the HRA, said: “Most importantly we want to involve the local community. We want it to be their centre. So we shall be consulting our neighbours regularly as the designs progress.
“We shall be launching a campaign for local sponsorship. There is nothing that impresses big funding bodies more than a local community that is prepared to chip in.”
Cllr Paul Convery, executive member for planning, said: “Local people have played a big part in shaping this planning brief, which underlines our commitment and outlines what we expect to see on the site.
“We will also be seeking to build new affordable housing on the site to help with Islington’s dire need for more family homes.”
The HRA will shortly be relaunching its website, www.savehighburyroundhouse.co.uk, giving information on fundraising events and keeping the community updated on their progress.
Highbury Roundhouse currently offers dance classes, karate lessons and a pensioners club, at different sites in the Highbury area.