Town Hall Square

We know there continues to be concern around the future of the Town Hall Square.

To make it absolutely clear and to reiterate what we said at the end of May, the Square is part of the much-needed regeneration of Hornsey Town Hall.

It will remain fully accessible to the public, as a fantastic community space in the heart of Crouch End

It will be maintained by the future leaseholder of the Town Hall.

There will be no housing or large-scale development on the green.

These guarantees will be written into legal agreements with the preferred bidder.

Hornsey Town Hall update

As the council’s procurement process continues, we thought it would be helpful to remind everyone of the community requirements at the heart of the process and also the role that Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust (HTHCT) continues to play.


HTHCT is a buildings preservation trust which was set up in 2007 to work towards finding a long-term, sustainable solution for this historically-important building. Many of its members, all local residents and volunteers, were involved in the project long before the formation of the Trust, either as part of Crouch End for People, as members of an Advisory Panel to Haringey Council (LBH) and subsequently the HTH Community Partnership Board. The Trust has always had Crouch End ward councillors as members and they are currently Natan Doron and Sarah Elliott.

It has long been the Trust’s view that the most productive way forward is to try and influence the council’s decision making over the future of the Town Hall by working with the council whilst continuing to lobby hard for long-term community access and use of the building. It is also imperative that sufficient investment from the sale of the land to the rear of the Town Hall is committed to fully restore the Grade II* listed building (it has long been on Historic England’s Buildings at Risk Register) but also make it fit for purpose in the 21st century.

HTHCT’s legal responsibilities

In June 2015, Haringey Council’s cabinet took the decision to engage in a formal procurement process for Hornsey Town Hall. This is a detailed, complex, confidential and long process, and, because of the scale of the project, governed by European procurement rules. In order to take part in the process, each individual member of HTHCT has had to sign a formal confidentiality agreement and must abide by the legal requirements in that agreement. We understand that is it unprecedented for a group such as ours (i.e. local, community volunteers) to be involved in a confidential procurement process in this way and we are pleased to have achieved this role on behalf of the community.

Community access and uses

Haringey Council has repeatedly stated its commitment to finding an appropriate long term solution for the Town Hall and has also restated its promise to ensure that community access and use is a key part of the solution.

It has also promised:

• The Town Hall Square will remain in the public realm as a fantastic, publicly accessible space at the heart of the community
• There will be no housing or large-scale development on the green

These guarantees will be written into legal agreements with the preferred bidder.

HTHCT was closely involved in the process of drawing up the council tender documents for the Town Hall which relate to community access and use. Much of HTCT’s input was based on the informal consultations undertaken by the Trust over the years, the most recent of which took place in May 2015 [Our Consultation – Hornsey Town Hall’s future].

The Trust is also a member of the evaluation panel that is scoring the community access and use parts of the bids. Each section of the bids is being scored by expert panels overseen by independent legal advisers. The overall final score will be the total of the scores for each section.

HTHCT has agreed with the Haringey that the ‘public access and community use’ has an usually high weighting in the overall scoring of tenders, giving the bidders the clear signal that this is a vital ‘deliverable’ for the community (and the council).

Whatever solution is found for the future use of the Town Hall, the Trust is also committed to ensuring that there are robust mechanisms in place which will ensure that community use and access is ensured for future generations. In terms of a sustainable business plan, HTHCT agrees with the council that this is vital to ensure long term viability of the HTH public access and community use operations. They are inextricably tied in to the long term viability of the whole development in the absence of ongoing council funding or investment in HTH.

Community access and use tender requirements

Community access and use has been broadly defined as follows:
o Community access: publicly accessible space free at point of entry; and
o Community use: space made available at non-commercial rates for given periods to members of the public to use
Bidders are required to demonstrate how their proposals will ensure sustainable cultural, community and other activities in the Town Hall in the long term. We expect these to be both commercial and community activities. We also expect bidders to show how they will work with the community and outline a proposed governance model(s) which guarantee a wide range of community representation.

We also want the current, very popular interim community uses to be provided for as long as possible until refurbishment on the Town Hall starts.

Long term public access and community use is one section of many to which bidders have been asked to respond. Bidders have to fulfil many financial criteria to ensure there are adequate resources to refurbish the Town Hall. The HTH project should be a holistic and comprehensive development and operational solution that will generate the requisite capital and revenue returns (across the Town Hall and wider site) to ensure a long term sustainable future for the Town Hall.

Underpinning the procurement process are the following principles:

high quality…
A development sensitive to heritage and conservation, informed by a ‘place making’ approach, to create a high quality scheme that enhances a key part of the district centre of Crouch End.

support economic development…
A development that creates job opportunities and encourages inward investment into the local area.

commercially sound and deliverable…
A development that is viable, deliverable and sustainable in the long term.

delivers a strong community focus…
A development that provides high quality and accessible space for the use and enjoyment of the wider public and local community, which hosts a desire to play an active role in the future of the property.

You can email us at

Link to trustee’s biographies

Tree on Town Hall Square – update

HTH Chestnut June 2016

Following notification last night that one of the trees on the Town Hall Square needed urgent attention to make it safe, HTHCT asked for more background to this decision.

LBH says that a large branch fell from the tree in August 2013; an inspection subsequently revealed it was in poor condition. According to LBH, published guidance states that horse chestnut trees do not respond well to decay as they are unable to prevent disease spreading, once it’s established.

LBH also says there was evidence (black tar like stains and cracking along the stem and large branches) that the tree has been infected by Phytophthora which can also lead to some branches dying back. The tree canopy was thin, compared to a healthy specimen of the same species.

The council says it undertook a significant crown reduction in Sept 2013 to minimise the risk of additional branches failing and to re-balance the crown.  LBH says this work was carried out to minimise the risk of additional branches failing and to re-balance the crown. LBH says it thought it was better to try to retain the tree in the short term and see how it reacted to the pruning works.

They go on to say that the tree was monitored last year and another inspection took place this week; their conclusion was that the tree was in terminal decline and that their priority was to make the green area of the square safe for the public.

LBH has sent several images of the tree, one of which is attached to this post.

LBH has told us that they have recommended planting one or two replacements.  We have no more news on that at the moment but will update as soon as we know more.

Tree on the Town Hall Square

Haringey Council told us late yesterday that one of the chestnut trees on the square has died and that it urgently needs to be made safe. This work will be undertaken today, Wednesday 8 June.

The Town Hall Square

Cllr Alan Strickland has responded to speculation about the future of the Town Hall Square. You can read his piece in the @BroadwayHamHigh hereBroadway Ham & High

Hornsey Town Hall – the role of the Trust

Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust is taking part in the formal procurement process for the regeneration of Hornsey Town Hall.

We worked with the council to draft the tender information, at the heart of which is long-term sustainable community and arts use alongside the much-needed refurbishment of this historic building.  Over the coming months, the Trust will be evaluating and scoring developer/operator proposals for community and creative uses at Hornsey Town Hall as part of the procurement process. All bids will be considered and scored according to the criteria laid out in the tender documents.

Haringey Council’s most recent update on the procurement process can be read here []. It also gives details of the extension of the temporary lease granted to ANA who run The Arts Centre at Hornsey Town Hall.

If you want to read through the community consultation on the future of Hornsey Town Hall, undertaken by the Trust in 2015, please click here [150608_hth_community_use_and_access_paper

HTH Debate at full council, Monday 23 November

There was a debate on procurement and the future of Hornsey Town Hall at a full Council meeting last night, triggered by the petition from Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society. You can watch the debate here

It starts at 1.10.20 and finishes at 1.33.50

Hornsey Town Hall tender published

The tender for the refurbishment and development of Hornsey Town Hall has been published.    Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust will be part of the evaluation team, focussing on proposals for commununity access and use.

A summary  can be found here

and there is a link to the tender here

The council’s press release about the tender is here:



Latest update on Hornsey Town Hall

As many of you know, Haringey Council (LBH) is about to start the formal procurement process to find a developer for the Hornsey Town Hall site. This complex process is governed by strict EU rules and is very tightly regulated. The tender will be published on, the recognised site for public sector tenders.

The Trust has entered into a legal agreement with LBH in order to be a member of the panel that will evaluate developer/operator proposals for long-term, sustainable community use at Hornsey Town Hall. All bids have to be considered and scored equally. We’ve also made sure the Council has contacted all those groups that have expressed interest in the Town Hall to ensure that their details are made available to prospective bidders as part of the tender documents.

Hornsey Town Hall

Rigorous selection process

All bidders will be asked to confirm that they will meet at the very least LBH’s minimum requirements for community access and use but, crucially, bidders will score more – and are asked to provide specific information – for enhanced community use, i.e. beyond the minimum requirements. They will be asked to provide proposals that facilitate cultural, community and other activities in the Town Hall that meet our stated aspirations for the building. We also want to hear about how often they would propose to make this space available, how they see the management and governance of community use and how they will ensure its long term viability.

No one should be under any illusion about the rigour of the procurement process. This needs to tie in, of course, with the restoration of the building that will take it off the At Risk Register and make it fit-for-purpose in the 21st century so that the full potential of HTH can be realised.

To do that, it’s estimated that it will cost at least £10 million. That money will come from the development of the land to the rear of the Town Hall, with the same developer taking on responsibility for both the development of the land and the necessarily high-quality refurbishment of the Town Hall. That certainly doesn’t rule out a separate operator coming in to run the Town Hall on a day-to-day basis following its refurbishment.

Next steps

So the next twelve months are crucial for the future of Hornsey Town Hall. Many in the community are questioning why we feel it’s important to work in partnership with Haringey Council. HTHCT evolved out of local passion and action over 10 years ago and the response that the Appreciation Society is able to muster today is evidence that that passion in the community has not waned in the intervening years. We’ve always believed it’s important to work with the Council in order to help influence the final outcome and find a long-term, sustainable future for the building that meets community aspirations rather than against.

But that doesn’t mean we’ve always agreed about the Council’s approach to the Town Hall. We’ve plugged and plugged away about the importance of community access and use of the Town Hall, so clearly articulated in the consultation we undertook earlier this year (

Like everyone else campaigning for the Town Hall, we’re driven by the need to find a viable creative, ambitious solution that works for everyone, not just the people of Crouch End but the whole of Haringey and beyond.

This post contains the text of our newsletter sent 23rd October 2015

Judy Bax

We were very sorry to hear that Judy Bax died on 18th August. Judy, a former Haringey Labour Councillor, was chair of the Hornsey Town Hall Advisory Panel and then the Community Partnership Board, and worked tirelessly to ensure HTH has a sustainable future that would represent community aspirations.

We send our condolences to Judy’s family. We understand there will be a private family funeral; a memorial service for Judy will take place in the early autumn. As soon as we have details of that and the site for leaving messages of condolence, we will post them here.

Former councillor David Winskill, (a minority group rep on the Advisory Panel and Community Partnership Board from its early days) adds,

“Working with Judy was an absolute joy: she was one of the most intelligent and decent people I met as a councillor. She was crucial in opening up the debate about Hornsey Town Hall and made it possible to develop a vision for the use of the building that reflected to aspirations of all Haringey residents. Judy will be greatly missed.”

The Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust

Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust is the independent buildings preservation trust set up in 2007 to promote the regeneration of the magnificent Grade II* listed Hornsey Town Hall in the heart of Crouch End and to ensure continuing community access and use.

Our vision
To create “a world class model of civic renaissance, an arena for all that harnesses the spirit of progress, community, creativity and enterprise for future generations in Haringey, London and beyond”

The Hornsey Town Hall Project
Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust is working with Haringey Council, who own the building, to ensure public benefit and community access to the Town Hall.

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