New community centre lined up for Kentish Town
- Credit: AAB architects
The site of an old Kentish Town cinema could be turned into a community centre, under plans of Camden Council.
The local authority has submitted a planning application to convert 2 Prince of Wales Road, on the corner of Kentish Town Road, into a “neighbourhood hub” including shared workspace, meeting rooms and a kitchen.
The current occupants, the Camden Community Law Centre, would move out to a smaller premises.
The site previously hosted the Palace Cinema, later renamed The Gaumont which closed in 1959. It was then converted into a supermarket before becoming a law centre.
If the proposals are approved, Camden is aiming to open the facility by the end of 2022.
The council’s cabinet member for promoting neighbourhoods and communities, Cllr Anna Wright, said the designs are based off its temporary community space at 19 Highgate Road.
"We now want to create our first permanent neighbourhood's space in Kentish Town to bring together local voluntary and community groups, businesses looking to work with the community, as well as various facilities and services to support local residents," Cllr Wright said.
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“We've started engaging with people and groups from across the community and will continue to do so over the next year to ensure when the centre opens it achieves the maximum benefit for the local neighbourhood.”
Under the plans the ground floor would include meeting rooms, an activities area and a co-working space which could be used for events.
It would also have toilets and a kitchen able to cater for 100 meals a day for vulnerable residents. The first floor would have flexible workspace that could be rented out, and more toilets.
Sean Canning, director of the Camden Community Law Centre, said he supported the redevelopment.
“After nearly forty years the law centre will be relocating to new premises in Camden which we are looking forward to,” he said.
Roger Winfield, chair of the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum, said he welcomed the plan for shared work and activity space for local businesses and community groups.
“These objectives appear to be in accordance with the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan,” a spokesperson for the group added.
The site is across the street from 187 Kentish Town Road, which is undergoing a long-awaited redevelopment including a new cinema.
To comment on the proposals enter application number 2021/4606/P on Camden Council’s online planning portal. The deadline for submissions is November 29.