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£16m transformation of Hornsey Town Hall

PUBLISHED: 14:59 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:16 07 September 2010

Charlotte Newton THE £16.6 million plans to transform Hornsey Town Hall into a hub of social and civic activity were revealed to the public this week. John McAslan and Partners, the award-winning architects who designed Camden s new-look Roundhouse, exhi

Charlotte Newton

THE £16.6 million plans to transform Hornsey Town Hall into a hub of social and civic activity were revealed to the public this week.

John McAslan and Partners, the award-winning architects who designed Camden's new-look Roundhouse, exhibited their designs to restore Crouch End's Hornsey Town Hall. The plans include:

o A two-screen art house cinema

o 300 to 400-seat performance hall

o Music centre

o Restored council chamber, for civil ceremonies and weddings

The ambitious designs received a warm response from residents, but there were still concerns over a £6.6million funding gap.

Tony Westbrook is director of the Hornsey Town Hall Trust Ltd which was set up in 2006 to prevent Haringey Council from selling the1930s Grade II-listed building to developers.

He said: "The vision presented is very positive for the future of the Town Hall. But we have grave concerns over the £6million funding gap, which the council has so far refused to meet."

The project, which is expected to cost £16.6million will be part funded from the sale of the land to the rear of the Town Hall, the Broadway Mews and the East Wing.

Up to 140 residential flats with parking underneath are proposed for this land - which would fetch up to £10 million.

But the remaining £6.6 million will have to be raised through sponsorship or donations from civic trusts.

Mr Westbrook also warned that the project should be free from the political control of Haringey Council.

"The Town Hall must be transferred into the ownership of an independent trust now, to avoid the mistakes of Alexandra Palace," Mr Westbrook said.

And he warned that the lack of parking would prevent the centre from becoming the commercial hub of Crouch End because transport in the area was limited.

"The independent retailers need help. So why is no car parking at all being provided for the meeting rooms, public halls or cinema?"

But Cllr Claire Kober, leader of Haringey Council, said: "Residents told us clearly that Hornsey Town Hall should be safeguarded for community use, and that is what we are doing. This development will restore an important landmark and revive the town hall as a hub of civic and social activity, for Crouch End, Haringey and beyond."

Architect John McAslan, said: "Local people have really taken this project to heart and with their continued support, we aim to create an arts and enterprise centre that will serve London well into the future."

Ann Wilks, chairwoman of the Hornsey Town Hall community partnership board said: "A vast amount of work has been undertaken to give Hornsey Town Hall the best chance of a secure and viable future, while meeting community aspirations."

The Hornsey Town Hall proposals are expected to go to planning in October with work due to start in early 2010, and completion earmarked for 2012.

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