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New trustees for HTHCT

We are delighted to announce that James Souter and Lucy White were co-opted on to the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust board at the trustees’ meeting on Wednesday 15th March.   Both are local residents; James is a property lawyer and Lucy works in arts’ marketing.   You can read their biographies here About Us

The vacancies were advertised on this website, on social media feeds and on the Arts Marketing Association website.  James and Lucy each had an informal meeting with trustees in February, followed by a formal interview in early March.

Hornsey Town Hall refurbishment go-ahead signed

Haringey Council has signed an agreement with FEC for the multi million pound refurbishment and development of the Town Hall and the Square.

This is an exciting and pivotal moment in the story of the restoration of this much-loved site. At last, there will be funds available for the long overdue and much-needed refurbishment of the Town Hall and Square to a standard in keeping with its important status as a Grade II* listed building.

Equally exciting is the opportunity which this agreement affords for ongoing community use and access to large parts of the Town Hall. A separate Community Use Agreement, which the Trust is proud to have helped negotiate, will be in place and will secure arts and community uses in the Town Hall for generations to come.

After a decade of enlisting the views of local people and working with the Council, the Trust is heartened that a developer partner has been found. But there is still much to be done. The Trust will continue to work to ensure that the quality of the refurbishment and rebuild is appropriate and that the calibre of the arts and community activities which will populate large parts of the Town Hall is in keeping with the status of the building and in keeping with the aspirations of the people who will use it.

The council’s press release is here:    http://www.haringey.gov.uk/news/secure-future-hornsey-town-hall

If there is anything else you would like to know from us, please get in touch.

hornseytownhalltrust@gmail.com

HTHCT Trustee Vacancies

Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust, the buildings preservation trust that has been working with the London Borough of Haringey to secure a sustainable future for Hornsey Town Hall, currently (December 2016) has vacancies for at least two trustees.

We are looking for people, preferably local Haringey residents, who will introduce new skills and experiences to complement and extend our existing expertise.  You can read brief biographies of the current trustees her trustee_biographies

We would benefit from gaining skills in the following areas: finance; historic buildings conservation and regeneration; arts operation; property law.

The Board meets at least every other month and we also attend regular meetings with the London Borough of Haringey, with whom we entered into a confidentiality agreement to take part in the recent OJEU procurement for Hornsey Town Hall.

If you are interested, please email hornseytownhalltrust@gmail.com with a CV and covering letter outlining your skills and saying why you are interested in joining Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust and how you might contribute to the future of Hornsey Town Hall.

Deadline: 31 January 2017

Hornsey Town Hall – announcement of preferred bidder

Today, Friday 30 September, Haringey Council announced its preferred bidder for the Hornsey Town Hall project (hornsey-town-hall-press-release-september-2016).  This is not the culmination of the OJEU process as the recommendation now goes forward to the Cabinet on Tuesday 18 October, at which point and if agreed, the council will enter into final negotiations with the successful bidder.   The council expects to sign contracts in early 2017.

Mixed community access and use of the historic parts of Hornsey Town Hall have been secured for the long term with a financially strong business plan underpinning the bid.  This means that the Grade II* listed building will be fully and properly restored, taken off the Historic England At Risk register, and made fit for use in the 21st century.  Public access to the Town Hall Square and green is also secure (despite community concerns, it was never threatened by development) but plans may well be forthcoming to improve this important amenity at the heart of Crouch End.

Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust, which has been working with the council to try and find a sustainable future for this magnificent building for well over a decade, welcomes this recommendation.  The Trust met with all bidders on several occasions to discuss and question their community proposals as part of the OJEU process; it also took part in the evaluation of the community access and use sections of the tenders.

There is still some way to go before Hornsey Town Hall is fully restored.  HTHCT expects to play an active role in ensuring community access and use is properly and appropriately enshrined in long-term and binding legal agreements.

The council’s press release is here hornsey-town-hall-press-release-september-2016 but please do read the FAQs hornsey-town-hall-faqs-september-2016 which should answer many of your questions.  If there is anything else you would like to know from us, please get in touch.

info@hornsey-town-hall.org.uk

@Hornsey_T_Hall

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.

Background

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 info@hornsey-town-hall.org.uk

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.

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 [http://www.haringey.gov.uk/news/innovative-ideas-hornsey-town-hall-s-future]. 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