H&F opens new Sands End Arts & Community Centre

The new Sands End Arts & Community Centre was officially opened by Cllr Stephen Cowan on Friday (11 March).

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Leader of H&F, Cllr Stephen Cowan, at the official opening of the Sands End Arts & Community Centre

The new Sands End Arts & Community Centre was officially opened by Cllr Stephen Cowan, leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, on Friday (11 March).

H&F Council worked very closely with residents, local stakeholders and architects Mae to design the centre by South Park, Fulham. It was built at no cost to residents after H&F Council and Cllr Cowan negotiated for all the financial contributions to come from Tideway and developers.

See all the pictures from the official opening on our Flickr photo gallery.

“I promised we’d try our best replace the old Sands End Community Centre. So I'm really pleased our new centre is now open and already becoming a destination spot adding to people’s quality of life in this beautiful part of Fulham,” said Cllr Cowan.

“We were always keen to have the new Sands End Arts & Community Centre run by an independent trust so local people could make sure it was always there to serve the people of Fulham for generations to come. The new centre is being run by a specially formed community charity working to promote social cohesion in South Fulham. I’m grateful to the trustees and all the residents who worked with us to make this amazing project happen.”

The centre replaces the former Sands End Community Centre in Broughton Road, Fulham, which was closed in 2011. It was developed closely with local residents and has been a five-year project from conception to delivery.

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Andy Mitchell, chief executive of Tideway, speaking at the opening

Andy Mitchell, chief executive of Tideway, said: “Tideway is proud to have helped fund the Sands End Arts & Community Centre. It offers a safe and welcoming place for people to connect, socialise and learn.

“The centre is a fantastic legacy for Tideway and we are confident that it will offer opportunities for all members of the community in Sands End and beyond to get involved.”

Walnut Tree café and new home for DanceWest

The centre has a café, The Walnut Tree, with seating indoors and in the landscaped courtyard. This serves breakfast and lunch, as well as homemade cakes and pastries and hot and cold drinks to enjoy at the café or take away.

DanceWest – west London’s community dance organisation – has its first permanent home at the centre, offering classes in a state-of-the-art studio.

Over time, SEACC will be looking to programme and host its own events and exhibitions. "This centre stands for bringing people together to make a better world,” Cllr Cowan added. "This is who we are."

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Sands End Arts & Community Centre trustee Tim Prager

Sustainable building

H&F Council – which is working to improve the environment locally and make H&F carbon net zero by 2030 – asked the architects to design a sustainable community facility that promoted social integration.

Some 35 per cent of the new building is made from recycled products, including WasteBasedBricks, and the wood is responsibly sourced Cross Laminated Timber. The council used the centre to launch its Climate Carnival last November.

The centre has already won numerous awards, including an Architects’ Journal award for being “high-performing in terms of sustainability”.

The centre design makes reference to the heritage of the site and its 19th century glasshouses. The disused Clancarty Lodge, built in 1903, has been restored and incorporated into the new complex.

As well as supporting H&F Council’s Climate Emergency commitment, the centre forms part of the council’s arts strategy (pdf 627KB), which aims to give more residents from a wider range of backgrounds the opportunity to experience and participate in cultural activities.

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Exterior view of the Sands End Arts & Community Centre

Making a booking

The Sands End Arts & Community Centre has been opening slowly over the past few months and has already hosted a variety of events, from birthday parties, exercise classes and theatre and concert rehearsals to community meetings, team-building exercises and conferences.

To book the centre for your event, meeting or party, please visit the centre’s hire a space page or email: welcome@seacc.uk.

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