Heatham House is set to receive a £500,000 transformation.
A popular Richmond youth club is set to receive a £500,000 transformation if the council’s proposals are approved by a planning committee.
Heatham House is one of London’s biggest and busiest youth clubs and nurtured the talents of local band The Carnabys.
The centre, which was first developed as a music venue, now provides a variety of indoor activities, but concerns exist over accessibility for young people with disabilities as the gym building is not Disability Discrimination Compliant.
The council has now drawn up proposals to regenerate the gym to the side of Heatham Housem a picturesque Georgian building situated on the corner of London Road and Whitton Road, by Twickenham Rail Station.
Some years ago, £200,000 was put aside to modernise the building but work was put on hold following the possibility of the relocation of youth facilities to the former post office site next door. This idea was later disregarded after a strong preference from servers to remain in its current location.
The new plans will increase the capacity of the gym building and ensure it is fit for purpose, as well as redesigning the current stage, providing storage space for ramps and equipment for skate and skooters, building an office and reception area and creating showers and a disabled toilet.
From indoor skating and scooters, to cardio training, live music and the arts, there’s something for everyone under Richmond Council’s proposals which will be submitted for planning approval in September. The ambitious plans, which were drawn up in partnership with the children who attend the centre, will be unveiled to the public at an exhibition next month.
Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Health and Children’s Services, Cllr Christine Percival, said:
“The children and young people of Richmond upon Thames deserve a first-class youth facility, and sadly the gym located to the side of Heatham House is quite simply inadequate and is in desperate need of regeneration.
“I urge as many young people as possible who have an interest in Heatham House to come along to the exhibition next month to view and discuss these exciting plans. When most local authorities across the capital and beyond are closing youth centres down due to financial hardship we are delighted to be proposing to invest £500,000 in what is one of London’s busiest youth centres.”
The building proposed for redevelopment was used in the past by Richmond based band the Carnabys. The band rehearsed in the gym as youngsters and went on to win the ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest last month. The teens, all aged 19, scooped the coveted prize of performing on stage at five Hard Rock events across the world – alongside big name idols Kasabian and Bruce Springsteen.
Anyone who wants to view the designs or ask any questions is invited to an exhibition on Wednesday July 17, from 4pm to 8pm, ay Heatham House Youth Centre.
For more information contact Mark Coleman on 020 8487 5158 or email [email protected]
Photo courtesy of Liberal Democrats, with thanks.
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