Irish Centre Is Granted Planning Approval to Redevelop Building

New centre plus 24 apartments to be completed by end of 2014

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The Board of Hammersmith's Irish Cultural Centre has announced its plans for the future after the Planning Committee of Hammersmith and Fulham Council unanimously granted planning approval for the development of its existing site in Black’s Road.

The building is set to be knocked down and replaced with a brand new building plus 24 apartments above.

The Chairman of the Board Jim O'Hara, says: " This is great news for us and also for the Irish community in Britain; it heralds the beginning of a new era for the Cultural Centre.

" Having secured planning approval, we can quickly move forward to complete the purchase of the freehold of the site in the next few months and finalise plans for the construction of the new building next year.

"We can now look forward to the creation of a new purpose built Centre which will allow us to grow and develop our programme of activities and services.

" Very importantly, we will have a new building in a prime location in central London which will be held in perpetuity for the benefit of the Irish community in Britain."

The Cultural Centre's close partnership with Shepherds Bush Housing Group has enabled it to find a solution which guarantees its own future and facilitates the construction of 24 apartments to be located above it in Black's Road.

The existing building will close in March 2013 and it is anticipated that building works, including demolition and reconstruction, will take approximately 18 months. During this time, plans are being drawn up to continue the Centre’s programme of classes, performances, elders' activities and schools outreach activities in alternative venues within Hammersmith.

As well as being grateful to the housing group and H&F Council for their help, Jim offers thanks to the Irish government for their help and support, including a vital grant of £550,00.

" It has been a very challenging time for us since the decision to sell the building was made in 2011," he adds, "but we have been sustained by the level of goodwill and support shown by those who believe in the importance of the centre’s educational and cultural activities.

" We are now keen to talk to individuals and companies who would be willing to help us finance the interior fit out of the new centre. "

 

November 15, 2012