Work on a derelict site at Alexandra Palace has begun and people are being given the chance to have their say on improving parkland.

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust’s chief executive Emma Dagnes told a meeting of the venue’s board on Monday (February 26) the Shaping the Grove consultation had gone live and already had more than 500 responses. 

The public engagement exercise is being carried out to “explore potential long-term improvements” to the area, situated on the west side of the park.

Following consultation, ideas raised during the survey will be tested at two free events in April, after which a report will be produced to summarise findings.

Ms Dagnes confirmed work on the north-east office building, to the right of the palace’s main entrance, had started.

The east wing site is described as a “significant area of dereliction” and has been inaccessible to the public for decades.

But thanks to a recent £550,000 grant from Historic England, work to restore the north-east office has now begun.

Ham & High: In the past the North East Office Building has been used as a ticket office, porter facilities and costume room. (Image: Sophie Harbinson)In the past the North East Office Building has been used as a ticket office, porter facilities and costume room. (Image: Sophie Harbinson) (Image: Sophie Harbinson)

This forms part of the “next phase” in the trust’s east wing restoration project, in which the building’s theatre and east court have already been “restored and transformed”.

But the same could not be said for the Campsbourne Building, located in the south-east corner of Alexandra Park.

The area has been under long-term consideration with an aim to “reactivate” the site to improve east-west connectivity, biodiversity and the visitor experience.

Ms Dagnes said the team did not have the funding to “do the work that is necessary” on the building itself, which is not open to the public, and said they were “working to find a solution”.

Ham & High: Alexandra Palace (Image: Archive)Alexandra Palace (Image: Archive) (Image: Archive)

An online visitor survey was also launched in October last year to gather opinions and feedback on the skatepark, playground and boating lake located in the northern area of the park.

She said the reason for the launch was to build a case for the team to move forward with improvement projects in the area and to help apply for funding.

The ‘People’s Picture’, a mural project, is currently in development and is set to be on display in the east court of Alexandra Palace later in the year. 

The project is being done in collaboration with visual artist Helen Marshall, who will create art using people’s memories and connections to the palace for inspiration.

To feature in the work, people are being asked to take a selfie or photograph with a short story about a memory of Alexandra Palace. The pictures will all be used to construct the piece.

There is a long-standing aspiration to have a permanent catering offer in the east court. Ms Dagnes added that a business model for a cafe/restaurant is currently being “fleshed out”. She said that due to the building’s Grade II-listed status, plans have been ongoing for "quite a long time” and require “a number of steps”. 

The board’s report said layout designs were currently being worked on, after which there would be a discussion with Haringey Council prior to a formal application being made later in the year.