‘We want to give the palace back to the people' says Ally Pally chief executive (From Haringey Independent)
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Alexandra Palace chief executive hopes regeneration will gain momentum
The chief executive of Alexandra Palace hopes 2013 will be a turning point in the regeneration of the Victorian landmark.
During the coming months, trustees of Ally Pally will find out if they have been successful with their bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £16.8million to revitalise the derelict Victorian theatre, develop BBC studios and restore the East Court.
If the bid is successful, chief executive Duncan Wilson hopes momentum will start to build behind the project and private investment can be found for the development of a four-star hotel in the palace.
He said: “We really want to give it back to the people of the borough and we want to make this a beacon for the whole of Haringey.
“It’s the borough’s biggest asset and we really want to do more to get different communities from around the borough involved.
“My hope is that over the next year we will start to gain some momentum, and get a bit of a buzz about the palace and this will happen if our Heritage Lottery bid is successful.”
The HLF grant will cover £16.8m to support a total project costing £23.9m, with the trustees and Palace raising the remainder of the money.
Mr Wilson said: “It’s a huge undertaking and there is a lot of work to do but it is achievable.
“With a project like this you have to have an intelligent plan which breaks up the work in smaller projects. As well as lottery funding we need smart private investment in the palace to make it work.”
“There is a huge amount of potential for the future in the both the palace and the park and hopefully we’ll be able to unlock it, but I think we’ll have to be patient.
“For example the Victorian theatre hasn’t had play on since the 1930s. It’s such a valuable asset in a derelict state but there is potential there.
“Our main aim is to return Alexandra Palace back to its former glory and be a place that brings people from all over the borough together.”
It is hoped if all elements of the regeneration project are successful, up to 200 jobs will be created on the site and a further 200 will be created because of the work.
If the HLF bid is successful then the trustees will be able to progress to round two of the process, with the aim of finishing the project by 2016.