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A scaled model of the new facilities

Local groups invited to apply for space in Southall community hub

Ealing Council, housing association Catalyst and their partners at are seeking expressions of interest from community groups or individuals who would like to occupy space in a new community hub on the Havelock estate.

The council and Catalyst are working together to regenerate the Southall estate and are turning 36 disused garages and 2,000 square metres of empty space into new facilities that will benefit the community.

There will be a multi-purpose room, workshops, children’s play and learning spaces, a community kitchen, changing rooms and secure storage facilities.

Catalyst has produced an information pack that gives further details of the space available, the application criteria and terms and conditions. The pack and an online application form can be found at Open Havelock community centre – Catalyst Housing Limited (chg.org.uk)

The deadline for applications is Sunday 11 September. A points-based system will be used to evaluate responses and ensure a fair process.

Much needed new homes

Catalyst and Ealing Council have built 289 new homes in the first phase of regeneration. The land where the former garages sit is also earmarked for more much-needed housing, but the community hub project – known as ‘Open Havelock’ – will allow the empty space to be put to good use in the meantime.

The project has been partially grant-funded by the Mayor of London and London Enterprise Partnership’s Good Growth regeneration programme. Following extensive consultation with the local community, work started on the new facilities in January 2022 and is expected to be completed this summer. Access to the nearby Grand Union Canal is also set to be improved, subject to further funding.

“High quality facilities”

Councillor Shital Manro, the council’s lead member for good growth, said: “The Open Havelock project is an excellent example of the council and its partners coming together to provide high quality facilities and community hubs for local people to exercise and socialise.

“We welcome ideas for activities that could be held at the venue and hope that community groups seize this opportunity.”

“A thriving community hub”

Nicola Wheeler, head of community investment for community programmes and services at Catalyst, which is a subsidiary of the Peabody Group, said: “The garages were underutilised and attracted fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour, and local people told us they’d like to see them turned into something useful.

“With on-site refurbishments nearing completion, we are keen to hear from a diverse range of local people and organisations who would like to work with us to create a thriving community hub that will bring significant benefits to the Havelock community now and in the years to come.

“Whether you are a community group, start-up business, early years provider, artist, or any other type of community-minded enterprise, please check out the opportunities that are available and get in touch.”

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