The Arc (Islington) – update August 2017
In February this year we announced that, following our consultation at the end of last year, we would be progressing with our recommendation to lease the Arc community centre to a group or organisation that will manage the building on a long term basis and deliver services that will benefit the community.
Since then we have been through a three stage selection process, requiring interested parties to formally express their interest in managing the centre; an application process and shortlisted organisations were then invited to attend an interview. As we are now at the end of that selection process we are very pleased to announce that the organisation who will be taking over the management of the Arc is The Space Group.
The Space Group is an Islington based charity that takes void, vacant and underused space and creates assets to provide direct benefit for the communities that surround them.
The Space Group’s vision for the Arc is to create a multi-use community centre to be used by and for the community and that is a treasured community hub enjoyed by all. They will deliver a wide range of services for the community, blending the existing users with new users coming into the centre, including education, the arts, health and well-being, fitness and community focused activities and they will encourage and facilitate collaboration between local companies, service providers, charities and residents to develop high quality services.
They will carry out consultation with the community and centre users to inform service delivery and what will be beneficial to the community.
We are aware that this has been a difficult time for the local community and users of the centre, and that there have been significant concerns about the future of the centre. As part of our process, and in response to the feedback we received from the consultation, we have put in place some core principles that will be part of the lease arrangement with the Space Group. These core principles are Hyde’s commitment to ensuring that we continue to meet our obligations for ensuring that the Arc continues to remain open and accessible to the local community. The core principles state that the centre will remain accessible to and used by the local community; that the existing user groups hiring the centre who provide services that are of benefit to the community will continue to be able to hire the centre; that charity/non-profit groups can continue to hire the centre at a reduced rate; that the hire rates for the centre cannot be significantly increased to prevent local residents and organisations form being able to afford to hire the centre; that we have a long-term lease in place to ensure that there is continuity and stability of service at the centre.
We have also worked alongside the Council’s Voluntary and Community Sector Development Team throughout this process and will continue to do so as we progress in the management handover.
We are very pleased about the appointment of the Space Group and believe they will enable us to meet our recommendation that, although Hyde will no longer be responsible for the day-to-day management, the centre will remain open and accessible to the local community and we feel that this is an opportunity for the centre to become a much stronger asset to the local community.
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