Haringey to splash £54m on Civic Centre makeover and extension

Haringey Civic Centre

Cllr Peray Ahmet said the refurbishment will "create a ‘Heart of Haringey’ civic headquarters that will once again be a home of dynamic and thought-leading political debate” - Credit: Simon Allin

Haringey Council's cabinet has agreed on additional funding to develop the Civic Centre into the council’s main office building and a “thriving hub”. 

The decision was reached at a cabinet meeting on January 18. Costed at £54 million, it is intended to deliver “high-quality, modern offices for up to 900 staff in a new annex, along with new community and civic spaces”. 

Originally billed as a £24 million refurbishment, plans for the extended £54 million scheme were reported by the Ham&High last year

At the time, Luke-Cawley Harrison, Lib Dem leader of the opposition, said: “As many people in our borough struggle to cope with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unbelievable that Haringey Labour are soldiering on with this unnecessary and unwanted project, spending tens of millions on new offices for themselves when we have fewer in-office workers than ever.” 

Council leader Peray Ahmet however described the Grade II listed Civic Centre as a “treasured local landmark”, adding: "Rather than an instance of spiralling costs, this is an essential part of prudent financial planning.” 

Following the agreement of the additional funding, Cllr Ahmet said: “Steeped in a long and rich local history, the Civic Centre is no ordinary council office. This truly iconic building holds a special place in the hearts of many people, not least me and my family.

“I was married there, so it means a lot to me and is also a symbol of unity for thousands of others who tied the knot over several decades at this treasured landmark. 

“Our staff deserve a much better working environment, and the addition of safe and modern offices in an annex will support a collaborative approach to delivering services. 

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“The re-energised building will also bring people together through high-quality community and public spaces. 

“We are ready to move onto the next stage of the project and create a ‘heart of Haringey’ civic headquarters that will once again be a home of dynamic and thought-leading political debate.” 

Detailed designs for the project are due to be considered by the planning committee in autumn this year, with construction to begin in summer 2023.