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Popular community centre future looks secure

August 28, 2013

The Highbury Roundhouse in Ronalds Road, Islington, has a secured future ahead after plans for a £1.75 million building were given approval by Islington Council.

Highbury Roundhouse has faced an uncertain destiny since its distinctive former building had to close when the structure was declared unsafe.

Islington Council initially said it would be too expensive to repair and planned to knock it down then sell the land to housing developers.

But pressure from residents encouraged the town hall to backtrack and now the planning committee has given blueprints for the new building the green light.

Tony Miller, secretary to the Highbury Roundhouse Association (HRA), said: “It’s tremendous. This really is a landmark event. It means we can get our fundraising into top gear.

“We need funding bodies who are willing to make large donations. We have a couple in the bag but we need more. Now we have planning permission we can approach them. They need to know it’s going to happen and it isn’t just a dream. We are running a couple of months behind schedule. We originally said the new building would be completed by the end of 2014. Maybe if we pull out all the stops we might still make that.”

The old Roundhouse was a former Victorian bottleworks, which became a community centre in 1976 to give children and young people in the area something to do.

“This is great news for the local residents,” says Alina Banionyte, lettings manager at the Islington branch of lettings agent Edmund Cude. “There’s always lots going on in Islington but it is important to give young people a space they can call their own especially as it services people from a wide range of backgrounds.”

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