Community takeover of park centre will be 'last piece in regeneration jig-saw' (From Haringey Independent)
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Community takeover of park centre at Lordship Recreation Ground will be 'last piece in regeneration jig-saw'
A community group is on the verge of completing “the last piece in the jigsaw” of the regeneration of a popular park.
Lordship Recreation Ground’s eco-hub will be taken over next month by a 50-strong group of park users who want to run the largely empty centre “for the community”.
The eco-hub was built last year as part of a £5million council revamp of one of Haringey’s largest green spaces, but its use has been far below capacity over the past 12 months.
The Lordship Hub Co-op is now in the process of raising £40,000 to realise the potential of the building when it takes over on a 25-year lease from the council in July.
Co-op board member Joan Curtis said: “We want it to be run by the community, for the community. We’ll be opening in July, even if it is on a shoestring budget.
“This is the last part of the jigsaw to be completed in terms of the renovation of Lordship Recreation Ground and we can’t wait.”
Dave Morris, a fellow co-op board member and chairman of the Friends of Lordship Rec, added: “It has been very hard work but it’s very exciting. We’ve incorporated the independent user groups in the park and we’re looking forward to taking over.”
The co-operative needs cash to deck out the kitchen, redecorate rooms and hire staff.
It is currently running an online appeal on fundraising website Space Hive and needs £18,000 before its self-imposed July 31 deadline.
Maria Harwood, who runs a weekly baby and toddler group at the hub, believes the imminent takeover is good news.
She said: “Our future will be more secure when the co-operative is in charge as they have the best interests of the park and community at heart.”
The co-operative is yet to sign the deal with Haringey Council, but Stuart McNamara, the cabinet member in charge of parks, has welcomed the imminent deal.
He said: “The partnership between the council and the Lordship Hub Co-op is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by passionate local residents working together.
“The eco-hub was the centrepiece of our £5million revamp of Lordship Rec, and we’ll continue to work closely with the co-op so that the centre offers a great space for park users to meet, relax and unwind.”
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