The note below was made available for the Open House Day. More info available on the petition
Since November of last year, Hornsey Town Hall has been managed by three people as an arts centre – a wildly successful, community-loves-it Town Hall full of dance, theatre, art, music, markets, and small businesses. When they opened up spaces closed for decades, the potential of this building was revealed to thousands – a stark contrast to 20 years of neglect.
Haringey Council have decided to sell it – and the Square and Green – to developers, and it goes out to tender in September.
With planning permission for 123 flats already in place, we face an uncertain future. It may become budget hotel, supermarket, college – we have no idea. What we do know is that access for arts groups and small businesses is particularly under threat from commercial pressures: the ’community use and access’ stipulated in the sale may be as little as a café, gym, or occasional tours of the building.
For too long the centre of Crouch End has been overshadowed by the crumbling glory of Hornsey Town Hall – now on the English Heritage At Risk register. It wasn’t always thus. The Town Hall is the centrepiece of a planned public space, a modernist masterpiece and a place of assembly and entertainment. A celebration of civic virtues.
We think the Town Hall should continue as a social, cultural and business hub – an opportunity for regeneration rather than a chance to flog it to the highest bidder. A creative space that reflects the strengths of the community and helps shape economic opportunities across north London.
The Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society has been set up to campaign to bring Hornsey Town Hall into community ownership and return it to its former prominence. We have succeeded in listing it as an Asset of Community Value, and are working toward creating an association of local groups keen to see a progressive solution.
And if you have professional skills – legal, accountancy, project or venue management or other – we want to hear from you!