Haringey Council Community Buildings
- The role of community buildings
- Community buildings review
- The current portfolio
- What are they used for?
- Supporting voluntary sector priorities
- Leasing council premises
- Community tenant self-assessment
Our community buildings play an important role in providing voluntary and community services in Haringey. They are a hub for services that benefit local people, particularly some of our most vulnerable residents, and contribute to a stronger society. Community buildings provide a meeting place for voluntary and community groups where they can deliver a range of activities and where residents can access support, services and information.
We want to improve the quality of the buildings by increasing the amount they are used and making sure they best represent Haringey’s diverse community.
The aim of the review is to make better use of the council’s buildings, improve the quality of them and make them more widely accessible. To achieve this, we want to:
- Improve the suitability and quality of our Community Buildings, make sure they are fit for purpose and in a good state of repair
- Widen access to the buildings to maximise their use
- Identify regeneration opportunities, simplify the lease process and reduce financial risk
- Identify buildings that may no longer be suitable for community use and look at other options for them, including regeneration opportunities.
For more details see the Community buildings review page.
The current portfolio consists of council buildings that were purpose-built or adapted for community use, as well as some that were previously used by the council but were transferred to community use as an alternative to selling them.
We recognise and value the role of the voluntary sector in developing a strong civic society and the importance of good community facilities to help vulnerable people and support social enterprise.
Community buildings help to bring communities together by providing a place where local groups can provide inclusive and accessible activities that promote equality. They can make people more independent and help vulnerable residents feel part of their community.
Services at the council’s community buildings include:
- education and training
- employment and social enterprise
- sport, recreation and health
- environmental activity
- voice, representation and advocacy services
- arts, crafts and culture
- faith & worship
- social activities
Community buildings represent an investment by the council to support the voluntary sector. Through its buildings, the council aims to support entrepreneurial, innovative and sustainable organisations that make effective use of their premises and contribute to wider community benefits. Our Voluntary Sector Strategy promotes ”fairer access to assets and community spaces by providing support to enable voluntary sector organisations to access and to share high quality premises”:
- By promoting dialogue, strengthening relationships and building trust between diverse communities including the socially excluded, vulnerable and newly formed communities
- By advocacy and representation
- By providing training and opportunities for young people to contribute to decision making within their community
- By developing community leadership roles among organisations and giving support to smaller organisations through sharing resources, back office functions and premises
- By promoting and facilitating community engagement through a delivery of a range of arts, community activities and events for diverse communities including vulnerable groups and excluded communities
- By providing a community resource which maximises the use of space for all communities and groups
We believe that community buildings should be used to:
- Provide multiple services and facilities that are open and accessible to everyone, stimulate community involvement and support action and activities that benefit the whole community
- Support the building of more cohesive, empowered and active communities by effectively utilising existing space within buildings
- Strengthen local partnerships and encouraging the building of partnerships between community enterprises
- Promote sustainability and innovation, which challenges the community to think beyond traditional boundaries
- Bring local people together, be responsive to local needs and increase empowerment and engagement
- Deliver social impact and outcomes to achieve a positive and profound change in the community, supporting respect and diversity
- Facilitate economic growth and support mixed and multi-purpose uses that maintain community vitality
If you are interested in leasing premises from the council for community use, see the commercial properties to let page.
The benefits we want to see in return for leasing out council premises include:
- A range of activities which promote fairness and wellbeing in Haringey and addresses the needs of low income residents and disadvantaged communities and reduce health inequalities
- The most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community enabled to access the support and services they need to improve life chances and health and wellbeing
- A larger number of Haringey residents contributing to and benefiting from their communities through involvement with local organisations
- More volunteering opportunities across the borough, helping to strengthen local civil society and to improve the life chances of local residents
- Supporting people back to work and training
- Greater use of community facilities by all of Haringey’s communities, particularly socially excluded, vulnerable and newly formed groups
- Promote social inclusion and equality of opportunity
- Strong and well-supported local organisations that are in a position to provide high quality services and to make a significant contribution to well-functioning and cohesive communities
- The development of more consortia and partnership working
- Additional funding and resources brought into the borough by enterprising local organisations being used to benefit local residents
We would also like to see more effective management and governance, including better communication between organisations, more efficient sharing of resources, more widespread evidence of quality assurance and greater cost-effectiveness overall.
Self-assessment will help us to assess the effectiveness of our community tenants, in terms of their governance and how their services benefit the wider community. It also provides a useful tool for groups to record accurate information about themselves, which can be used to support future funding bids and other applications that require evidence-based information on need, activity, value and impact.
The self-assessment process is a fundamental part of the review in supporting our decision making process for the future of the councils community buildings. It will also form the basis of regular assessments in the future, so that we can be sure that our buildings are being used to meet the needs of the community and help regeneration.
- For more details see the Self-assessment for community building tenants page