A facility run by the community for the community. That’s the vision for the new Sands End Arts and Community Centre, which was approved at planning committee this week.
The centre will be run by local people for local people, with facilities and services chosen according to what local people want.
The council is building the new Sands End Arts and Community Centre in and around the currently disused Clancarty Lodge in South Park. The lodge will be refurbished and extended to provide a range of bright, welcoming spaces for residents to use.
All this is being done at no cost to residents. Thames Tideway is providing £2m as part of its community investment and Chelsea FC is providing up to £1.6m as part of its community contribution around its stadium redevelopment.
Local resident Tim Prager, who sits on the Residents Delivery Group for the centre, said: “This will be a meeting place, a hub of activity across languages, cultures and economic background, a venue for creative expression, a flexible space which encourages the community to be flexible in its use.
“Perhaps most importantly, it will be what the broader Sands End community want it to be. Today and for decades to come.”
Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “This beautiful new centre will enhance people’s wellbeing across Sands End and South Fulham.
“It will be set up to ensure that it is truly for people of all backgrounds, and that residents are in the driving seat.”
A community trust comprised of local people will be established to run and operate the Sands End Arts and Community Centre.
Work on the centre will begin in the new year, with construction scheduled to start in the spring and the new building scheduled to open in 2019.
The design for the centre was consulted on widely. Residents responded in writing and gave their views at public consultation events.