Following the publication of Haringey Council’s Cabinet documents, including a paper on the future of Hornsey Town Hall and the recommendation of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts as preferred development partner going forward, the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust (HTHCT) issued the following statement today, Thursday 14 April 2011.
HTHCT supports Mountview’s proposal for the future of the Town Hall because it promises:
A commitment to the restoration and maintenance of the Grade II* listed building, employing high quality and environmentally sound design
A sustainable future for the Town Hall
Generous public access to the historic areas of the Town Hall
An extensive programme of community arts and educational activities and public events in the Town Hall, particularly in the Assembly Hall and the Council Chamber
Vibrant uses for and access to spaces which have long been closed to the public, animating the building
A positive contribution to the local economy
Mountview and Haringey Council will be putting in place a robust mechanism for ensuring that public benefit is maintained for the duration of the 125 year lease. HTHCT has a particular interest in ensuring that that is an effective mechanism.
It is also HTHCT’s view that the Mountview proposal aims to:
Unite east and west by running educational programmes in schools and events to bring together children and young people across the borough
Meet HTHCT’s aspirations for quality, by establishing locally an organisation with a national and international reputation for excellence
Create local training opportunities for young people in theatre and related skills
Provide opportunities for local business
Address the most frequently expressed concern on the planning application public consultation -the density of the housing development. This is reduced from 123 to 78 units
Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust has been working in partnership with Haringey Council since 2007 to find a solution for HornseyTown Hall which meets their stated objectives of restoring this historically important building and establishing in it a financially sustainable solution that has strong community benefits.
All the business models the Trust has considered have had to demonstrate both a viable capital plan (for the restoration of the Grade II* listed building) and a viable revenue plan, capable of operating independently of financial support from Haringey Council.
The Trust believe that leasing HornseyTown Hall to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts is the option that most fulfils these aims and objectives.
HTHCT considered in great detail a broad range of business models for the Town Hall, including mixed use, leasing the building to a single tenant and working with a developer who would also take responsibility for the Town Hall.
After extensive research both by HTHCT and professional business planners, the Trust concluded that
The mixed use option was not demonstrably financially viable and could not guarantee a sustainable future for the Town Hall
That the developer/operator option may be financially viable but would not necessarily deliver community benefit
That the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts proposal meets many of our agreed objectives
HTHCT will continue to work in partnership with the Council as the proposals develop.
The Trust will also work with the Council and other community groups, in consultation with Mountview, to continue to develop plans for the Town Square (which is not included in the area being leased to Mountview).
HTHCT recognises the pressure on the Council in the current financial and economic climate. It acknowledges and appreciates the Council’s willingness to seek a future for the Town Hall which delivers community benefits as well as relieving it of the costs of a building surplus to requirements.
To view the Cabinet papers please click here.