Trustees of Highbury Roundhouse are promised a lease
�Trustees of a soon-to-be demolished community building in Highbury are to be given a lease to secure their future on the site.
Islington Council announced plans in May to demolish the Highbury Roundhouse Youth and Community Centre in Ronalds Road and sell the land to a housing association which would be asked to build a new hall as well as up to 18 properties.
Roundhouse staff are currently trying to raise money from the Big Lottery Fund for a new building.
The council has now insisted trustees will get a legal contract for the land in Ronalds Road whatever happens.
Councillor Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for planning, regeneration and transport, has said: “We are making a commitment to give the Highbury Roundhouse a lease.
“They will get this agreement to help them secure funding from the Lottery or if we decide to build a new community centre.”
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Tony Miller, secretary of Highbury Roundhouse, said: “Without a legal agreement of some sort we cannot support whatever the council has planned.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Julie Horten said: “Trustees rightly fear that once the council has demolished the Roundhouse they will have nothing left to bargain with in negotiations with developers.”
The centre has been closed since August when a dangerous structure notice was placed on the crumbling main building.
Highbury Roundhouse offered dance, karate and a pensioners club and the activities have been continued at six different venues since the closure.
A timescale for the redevelopment has been announced which includes releasing a planning brief for the site next month, selling the land to a housing association by January and an estimated finish to construction by 2015.