The Ringcross (Islington) – update June 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 Ringcross 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 Ringcross centre is The Pilion Trust.
The Pilion Trust is an Islington based charity, founded in 2007, delivering a range of services which supports local communities and vulnerable people. Pilion have set up and run 18 projects over the 10 years, including management of community centres, and have supported over 15,000 people, families and businesses who have benefited from these projects. They currently deliver six projects in the Borough focusing on the needs of homeless people, women, families, young people and older people.
We are now working hard to put in place the necessary arrangements for the Pilion Trust to move into the centre and begin their work as soon as possible. We are very hopeful that we can achieve this in early June and residents and users of the centre should start to see new activities and goings-on at the centre in the next few weeks.
Pilion’s vision is to welcome the neighbourhood and wider community into the Ringcross community centre. They will blend the existing users with new users coming into the centre and create a holistic programme that people of all ages and backgrounds can get involved in and improve their quality of life. They will also set up a steering group that will include local representatives and users of the centre to help develop plane future plans and developments for the centre. They will bring a staff team who will be based in the centre and as well as daily activities and services they will have an informal drop in service every day for people who have needs and concerns that affect their health, housing and finances.
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 Pilion Trust. These core principles are Hyde’s commitment to ensuring that we continue to meet our obligations for ensuring that the Ringcross centre 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 Pilion Trust 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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