Bright future for Hornsey Town Hall
The future of Hornsey Town Hall, Crouch End's iconic Grade II* listed building looks set to be secured for future generations under new proposals outlined today (Friday 30th September 2016). In October Haringey Council’s cabinet will decide whether a consortium led by Far East Consortium International Ltd (FEC) with its subsidiary Dorsett Hospitality and also CoPlan Estates Ltd, should be the preferred bidder to invest millions of pounds to restore the historic, art deco building.
FEC will be recommended to Haringey’s cabinet following a rigorous selection process that saw would-be developers obliged to meet strict requirements to ensure community access to the building and to guarantee public access to the town hall square at all times. These requirements will be written into legal agreements with the preferred bidder.
The consortium will commit to improving and maintaining the Town Hall Square, and has already been in discussions with ANA Arts Project Ltd looking at how a sustainable arts centre proposal can be developed for the site.
FEC has proposed a scheme combining community space in the historically significant parts of the Town Hall, a boutique hotel in the east and west wings of the building and cafe/restaurants at ground floor levels. These uses along with new homes mostly concentrated on the land at the rear of the Town Hall, will guarantee Hornsey Town Hall’s future.
If Haringey’s Cabinet gives approval, FEC and CoPlan will start working up more detailed plans for the building and start detailed discussions about the community space and arts provision. Haringey Council will work with FEC and CoPlan to agree ways for local residents to be engaged in this work as it develops.
Works on site could start as early as autumn 2017 and follows a decade of joint working between Haringey and the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust (HTHCT), which is run by Crouch End residents.
Cllr Alan Strickland, Haringey’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Planning said: "Hornsey Town Hall plays a very special role in the heart of Crouch End's community and we are committed to securing its future for generations to come. We have worked with the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust to assess community aspects of the bids from developers to get the best deal for local residents. The preferred bidder being recommended to cabinet includes clear commitments to using some of the important historical parts of the Town Hall, including the Assembly Hall, for community use. This includes proposals for community arts activities, true to the wishes of local residents for creative uses to be part of the building’s future.”
More information about the future of Hornsey Town Hall is available here: www.haringey.gov.uk/HTH/FAQs
In November 2015 Haringey invited bids from developers to restore Hornsey Town Hall and provide a long term sustainable future for the building and wider site. We set strict requirements for every bid to remove the building from the ‘Buildings at Risk’ register and allow community access to the building and keep the square publicly accessible at all times. These strict rules will be written into legal agreements with the successful bidder.
Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust (HTHCT) was set up in 2007 to promote the generation of Hornsey Town Hall and to ensure continuing access and use. The Trust grew out of the Community Partnership Board and, before that, an Advisory Panel which was established to find a long-term, sustainable future for the building which met community aspirations. Its members are all local residents and two Crouch End ward councillors are also trustees: www.hornsey-town-hall-org.uk
Throughout 2016 Haringey Council officers and representatives of the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust have been in dialogue with bidders over the community aspects of their proposals, with final bids submitted in July 2016.
The details of the community based activities in the town hall are still being developed, however it is the intention that these will mostly be concentrated in, but not limited to, the more historically significant parts of the building, including the assembly hall, committee room and council chamber.
Leading real estate adviser, Bilfinger GVA is providing commercial, property and financial advice to Haringey Council throughout the project from options appraisal stage to contract award.