Cerebral palsy centre finally secures a permanent new home

A specialised centre for cerebral palsy in Muswell Hill is celebrating securing a home where they can develop new state-of-the-art facilities.

The London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy will now press forward with plans to develop a campus with a hydrotherapy pool and outdoor learning space.

They won’t be moving far - the brand new centre will be based at their temporary site in Coppetts Road, which is currently owned by the council.

Local politicians agreed last Tuesday to sell the land to the centre in exchange for the lease on a new development on the site of what was once the Green Man pub in Muswell Hill.

The cerebral palsy centre will continue with its ambitious £2.7m fundraising campaign to build a new centre and school in 2014.

The campaign, which won the early backing of actress Maureen Lipman and BBC economics editor Robert Peston, has raised £1.5m so far.

Staff at the centre had previously planned to develop the cerebral palsy facilities on the site of a nightclub where four people were shot in a gun attack in 2009, as well as on the site next door, formerly the Green Man pub.

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The site on Muswell Hill Broadway, which will now be leased to the council, had been gifted to the centre by developers SaS Investments.

While grateful for the gift, which they have been able to exchange for the Coppetts Road premises, staff believe their new home is more suitable.

The cerebral palsy centre currently offers education for three to 11-year-olds, after-school groups for children and young people with dyspraxia and hemiplegia, early intervention services and training for parents and professionals.

It now plans to introduce new services for adults who have Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and those recovering from a stroke.

“We are so excited about the opportunity this presents for our children and their families,” said Jo Honigmann, chief executive of the centre.

“Having a building that is set far back from the road, and with the option to expand further as need demands, allows us every opportunity to increase our reach and work with more children who can benefit from our services”.

Cllr Alan Strickland, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said: “We’re really pleased to have struck a deal which secures a long-term future for such a respected institution in our borough.”