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The Stockwell Centre (Lambeth) – 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 Stockwell 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 Stockwell centre is Morley College London

Morley College is a specialist designated institute for adult education which delivers a wide range of accredited and non-accredited learning to over 13,000 adults from across London. The college’s areas of specialism include art and design, music, dance, drama, languages, humanities, business, applied sciences, complementary health and a significant provision in essential skills (English and English for Speakers of Other Languages, Maths, Employability Skills). The college also has a Centre for Community Learning and Engagement who work in partnership with a range of community organisations (such as mental health charities, homeless hostels, refugee organisations, etc) and other institutions to support those who may be furthest from learning. In addition to their formal learning provision the college also serve the community through a vibrant cultural programme of exhibitions, concerts, talks and events. You can find out more at the Morley College website.

Morley College will be taking on the centre in order to use the space to extend their adult learning provision and deliver a range of courses drawing on their subject expertise. The courses they will offer will be a mix of those developed to meet the needs of the local community, especially in English, ESOL, maths and employability skills and those adult education courses across the range of arts, culture and applied science subjects in which they specialise.

Morley College have committed to continue the hiring arrangements of the current users of the centre who deliver services and activities that benefit the local community. They understand the importance of those services to the local community and their own use of the centre will be flexible enough to be programmed around the needs of the existing users. They have also committed to consult with the current users and will develop a timetable that provides optimal use of the centre for both providers and service users.

We have been working hard to put in place the necessary arrangements for Morley College to move into the centre and begin their work starting in September 2017.

Interim management arrangement for the Stockwell Centre

Most of the Hyde staff working at the community centre left Hyde on 31 May. As a result, from 1 June to early September the centre will remain open but will operate reduced opening hours based on existing hire arrangements. The centre will be closed when it is not in use. If you are unsure whether the services you usually access at the community centre are running during this period, please contact the service provider to confirm. 

During August Hyde and Morley College will be working together to ensure a smooth handover to allow Morley College to full take over the management of the centre in September. The centre will be closed for 1 week from 28 August until 3 September, to allow Morley College to undertake some redecoration and final arrangements as part of the transition.

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 Morley College. These core principles are Hyde’s commitment to ensuring that we continue to meet our obligations for ensuring that the Stockwell 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 are very pleased about the appointment of Morley College 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.

If you have any questions about the above information then the quickest way to get in touch is to send an email to communitycentresreview@hyde-housing.co.uk.

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