Youth club staff were left stunned after they opened a letter telling them they would have to leave their building within two months.

The Harringay Club in Tottenham Lane, Hornsey, has been run by the YMCA since 2020, and the charity has been in discussions with Haringey Council around the terms of its lease ever since.

The centre, which runs gymnastics and ballet programmes among other activities, supports thousands of children and young people every week.

Last week, youth club staff opened a letter addressed to ‘YMCA’ and were “shocked” to read that the council had served the charity 60 days’ notice to leave the building.

According to Haringey, it has offered lease terms to the YMCA that have not been accepted, forcing the council to “protect its property interest” and issue a notice to quit.

But a director of YMCA London City and North, Chris East, told Ham and High he was “flabbergasted” by the council’s decision and disputed its version of events.

Mr East claims that it was The Harringay Club that first approached the council over the legal issues, but the draft lease they requested "never materialised".

He said that the youth club had chased up with the council, but had not received a reply in the months leading up to the eviction notice.

The council claims there have been “many attempts” to negotiate the occupation of the building since discussions began.

YMCA has now said that there are fears that the council wishes to use the site for more housing, something that has been disputed by Haringey cabinet member Cllr Ruth Gordon.

Mr East said: “To be honest we don’t see anything that the council has said as factually accurate.

“The problem is the council are not talking to us. They know who we are.

“We’ve always known that the infrastructure of the building is not ideal. We said to the council we want to work to resolve that in the interest of children and young people.

“We have expertise and advice to bring to the table. We don’t expect to be treated like this.”

Haringey Council has said that it has no plans to evict any groups from the building, and that the normal activities that take place will continue, even if an “amicable solution” with YMCA is not reached.

The authority now plans to meet with concerned parents at a meeting this evening (June 11), as well as with representatives at YMCA.

Mr East said: “There’s been no hint of them being unhappy with the YMCA, or of there being any question over the quality of the delivery of services at the site.

“We will be asking the council about the negative social impact that will result from closing the centre.

“At the moment, the centre is meeting the physical and mental wellbeing of thousands of children and young people.”

He added that the current service was delivered by staff who have worked at the club for up to 20 years, and questioned how the council planned to replicate this.

Jonathan Kirby, Haringey Council’s assistant director for capital projects and property, said: “We would seek to put operational measures in place should an amicable solution not be reached, to ensure the site remains open for the user groups to continue."

He added: “As a local council we have to ensure that where we own a building, we protect our interests on behalf of all Haringey residents.”