CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The Winch appeals for council help in search for new home

13 February, 2015

A COMMUNITY centre is calling on Camden Council to help them find a long-term solution for their ageing building after missing out on a new home in the row over plans to build a sky-scraper in Swiss Cottage.

The Winch, famous locally for the work it does with teenagers and vulnerable residents, had been in line to secure a new base from developers in an overhaul of 100 Avenue Road. 

Its chief executive, Paul Perkins, told the New Journal on Monday night: “We lost out on 100 Avenue Road, it was an unpopular development because it was so tall but it would have provided us with a lot more space. Camden Council, having rejected that application, needs to help us with a solution because this building doesn’t have more than a few years to go before it will need ­millions invested in it.” 

He was speaking as the centre outlined its plans for the future.

The Winchester Road building, which dates back to the 1800s, is in need of multiple repairs and improvements, including disability access. The roof is prone to leaks and the façade is in need of a facelift. 

It was a pub before The Winch took it over 42 years ago. “The building has not had any investment as it is enough of a challenge raising money for our activities,” said  Mr Perkins. “We need to raise funds to keep this place going.”

The Winch, which provides “cradle to career” support for vulnerable young people in the area, is hoping to raise around £5million over five years to increase capacity, continue to provide activities and improve the premises. 

One year down the line, they are roughly on track, having raised over £750,000 through a combination of council and foundation funds, individual donations and self-generated income. 

The controversial plans for a 24-storey skyscraper to be built at 100 Avenue Road, were thrown out by Camden Council in October last year. 

Though numerous residents opposed the scheme, it would have provided a new space for the community centre to move into. Developers are currently appealing the decision.

 

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