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Jewish centre leads fundraising drive

PUBLISHED: 14:31 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:55 07 September 2010

A LEADING Jewish centre is starting a fundraising drive for a new youth project to benefit the whole community. The London Jewish Cultural Centre in North End Road, Golders Green, won a planning appeal against Barnet Council last week – allowing it to pre

A LEADING Jewish centre is starting a fundraising drive for a new youth project to benefit the whole community.

The London Jewish Cultural Centre in North End Road, Golders Green, won a planning appeal against Barnet Council last week - allowing it to press ahead with a 2,500 sq ft youth centre.

Now organisers face the daunting task of raising the £800,000 needed for the building next to their Ivy House base. It will include media, arts and craft facilities.

General manager Alan Fell said: "We are all thrilled that our appeal was successful.

"We estimate that it will take until about this autumn to finish our fundraising campaign and then, having secured all the funding, we will take about eight months to build it.

"If we go straight ahead into building, we plan to have it opening in spring 2010.

"The figures are now being worked out. But we think it will be about £750,000 to £800,000 so there is lots of fundraising to do.

"We will be looking for patrons, applying for local authority money, central government money and Lottery funding. These will be resources for the community as a whole so we will be looking at all sources of funding.

"The facility will be available to any existing youth organisations and groups - both Jewish and non-Jewish. We will also have our own dedicated youth worker so we will be designing our own programmes."

The centre applied to the council for permission last year but was refused because of issues relating to the building's impact on next door's Golders Hill Park. Members of Clowns Nursery opposite Ivy House also said it would cause traffic chaos.

But a planning inspector ruled the criticism could not be upheld.

Mr Fell said: "We have no hard feelings towards Barnet Council, they had a job to do and they did it - I am sure they have their processes and applied them in this case."

Youth group Habonim Dror has already signed up to use the centre on Sunday afternoons but the space will be available for use by any youth groups throughout the week.


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