Hammersmith & Fulham Council is working with local residents with support from Tideway to replace the much-missed Sands End Community Centre.
The proposed new location for the centre, subject to planning permission, is the run-down Clancarty Lodge site in South Park, Fulham.
Council Leader Stephen Cowan sought support for a new Sands End Community Centre from the Tideway project after Carnwath Road was confirmed as a main drive site for the super sewer. The idea for the centre was to give something back to the community after the impact of construction in the local area.
“The closure of the old community centre was a real loss to the area so we’re pleased to be building a new one with residents and Tideway,” Cllr Cowan said.
Plans for the community centre are now progressing. Tideway, the company building the Thames Tideway Tunnel has agreed to provide a significant contribution of £2 million to construct the new centre.
Tideway will also provide technical support for the construction as part of a package of benefits negotiated by the council for local people affected by the construction works. Tideway with their contractor BMB, are also supporting local schools and play facilities in the area.
The council also aims to make other improvements to South Park, including refurbishing the park’s toilets and changing rooms and is looking for other sources of funding from the community and other developers.
Run by local people
The centre will be run by local people once it is built, through a Community Trust now being established. And in line with its approach of doing things with and not to residents, the council has set up a Project Board which includes a residents’ liaison group to steer the project.
The residents group includes three leading lights of the Sands End community: Ann Rosenberg, who chairs the Tideway Carnwath Road Community Liaison Working Group, and Alex Schniewind and Tim Prager, who are long-standing South Fulham campaigners.
Ann Rosenberg said: “We’re delighted the council is keeping its promise of finding a way to bring the Sands End Community Centre back to the residents of South Fulham.”
Tim Prager said: “The fact that the council has harnessed Tideway’s goodwill and generosity to make this happen is a tremendous result for our community.”
Cllr Cowan added: “In my experience, local people are better than anyone at running community facilities and it’s great to be working with enthusiastic people who really want to make their part of London a better place to live.”
And Danny Trup, Tideway’s representative for the western area, said: “We will take every opportunity to work with the council and local residents to minimise disruption during construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
“The legacy of a cleaner Thames is matched with leaving a sustainable facility for the community to enjoy. We are delighted to be able to support the council and local residents in their endeavours.”