Hornsey Town Hall myth buster
Myth: Hornsey Town Hall will be bulldozed.
Reality: The council is committed to finding a lasting future for Hornsey Town Hall that will see it remain in the heart of Crouch End for generations to come. There is, nor has there ever been, any intention to demolish it.
Myth: Local people will be barred from Hornsey Town Hall.
Reality: The procurement process includes strict criteria to ensure that any bids that fail to demonstrate community access to the building will not be considered.
The Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust – an independent local charity and buildings preservations trust – will help to assess community use proposals.
Myth: Hornsey Town Hall’s square will be sold off to developers.
Reality: The square is a protected public space, and we have made it a requirement of any bids to take on Hornsey Town Hall that it remains publicly accessible for use by the local community under any future plans. It is included within the procurement process to ensure improvements are made under any development and restoration plans for the wider site.
Myth: Allowing more interim uses like those taking place at the moment could enable the building to stay open indefinitely.
Reality: Hornsey Town Hall is in a state of considerable disrepair, with around £10million investment towards heritage and repair works needed just to bring it up to a basic occupancy standard.
In addition, running costs are currently around £350,000. Interim uses aren’t enough to cover these costs and the ongoing maintenance needed to preserve the Grade II* listed building.
We want to see the much-welcomed interim uses continue while we find a long-term solution, but substantial long-term investment and restoration is essential.
Myth: Organisations that are using the Town Hall now and have opened its doors once more are set to be evicted.
Reality: A 12-month interim lease was granted to Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre by the council because we, like the community, wanted to see the building put to use while a long-term future is secured. The organisations using the building have arranged their activities through leaseholders ANA and these are all on a short-term basis.
Myth: The council wants to sell the building to the highest bidder.
Reality: Our priority is to secure a sustainable future for the Town Hall, bringing the investment and improvement that is needed.
Myth: Hornsey Library is under threat from the development plans.
Reality: There is no threat to Hornsey Library, which does not form part of the Hornsey Town Hall site.
Myth: The council could easily cover restoration cost.
Reality: Around £10million is needed just to repair the Town Hall, and additional running costs would also need to be met. With greater pressures than ever on its budget, and savings of around £70million to be made between now and 2018, the council cannot afford to meet these costs.
Myth: Hornsey Town Hall has been listed as an asset of community value (ACV) so the community therefore has a right to buy it.
Reality: The ACV listing gives the community a right to bid for the building, not a right to buy it. If a community groups is able to meet the essential requirements, their bid will be considered as part of the OJEU procurement process.
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