Highgate Newtown Community Centre gets funding from council and church for expanded woodwork education programme

Brookfield Primary School pupils using the existing woodworking space. Picture: HNCC

Brookfield Primary School pupils using the existing woodworking space. Picture: HNCC - Credit: Archant

Brookfield Primary’s pupils are among those delighted to be able to use a new woodwork facility set to open in a garage on the Whittington Estate after Camden allocated £110,000 to the project.

A generous £45,000 from the nearby St Anne's Church will also enable the Highgate Newtown Community Centre (HNCC) - which runs the woodwork programme - to hire an assistant to help run it.

The new wood shop will replace one in the community centre itself. and an expanded partnership with schools and community groups will see the likes of William Ellis School, Tufnell Park School and both the Camden and Islington young offending teams use the facility.

The church and the community centre have a longstanding partnership, vicar the Rev Andrew Meldrum also serves as a trustee of HNCC.

Robert Aitken, chair of the community centre's board of trustees, added: "I am delighted to welcome Camden Council's investment in a new woodwork shop for schools and the community, based in the garages of the Whittington Estate."

He also welcomed the centre's new partners and added it was part of a "Reaching Commnities Programme".

He said: "We can only succeed if we come together on projects like this. We are particularly greatfull to the staff team, Ricky Jefferson and our new staff member Jessica Straw for their enthusiasm in setting out to make this project a great success."

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Brookfield Primary's headteacher Laurel Fleck added: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Highgate Newtown Community Centre woodwork program.

"This is an excellent new addition to the creative work the children already engage in at Brookfield.

"The children have returned to school after their workshops full of enthusiasm, joy and pride in their work."

The council contribution comes from its community infrastructure levy (CIL) pot and is designed to ameliorate the effects of development on communities.

The current woodwork space is to be demolished as part of the rebuild of HNCC - with Camden Council in the process of building 41 homes of which seven are to be affordable - on the site in Bertram Street, N19.

Work is expected to finish in 2021.