Sadiq Khan’s backing to boost local economy, improve the environment and bring people together in one of London’s most deprived boroughs.
Kingsley Hall Church and Community Centre, part of the Livability family of services has been awarded £1.5 million in a round of funding aimed to reduce deprivation. The money has been awarded through the second round of the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, delivered through the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the capital.
Kingsley Hall has been a pioneering Christian centre at the heart of the local community for almost 90 years, providing much needed activities, projects and a welcoming hub for local people of all backgrounds. This funding will ensure that the local team can grow to meet the needs and challenges locally for many years to come.
The full budget is £4.3m, and the GLA are contributing £1.5m – The project has around £1.3m left to raise, with the build anticipated to complete in December 2020. The team needs to raise £1.3m and will be launching a public fundraising campaign in January 2019.
Kingsley Hall was founded in 1929 on the Becontree Estate in Dagenham, East London. It’s in the heart of the local community. But, as an old and well used building, the facilities are outdated and not suitable to support the diverse and growing needs of the community.
In a society with increasing cuts and restricted opportunities, having a place to meet and connect is vital. The project will double the community space available, provide new green spaces such as a cultural herb garden and also launch the first publicly accessible roof garden in Barking and Dagenham.
Livability and Kingsley Hall have been working on the plans in partnership with Habitat for Humanity GB Homes, Kilo Architects and Muf Art/Architecture. The GLA has been involved since 2015 with development funding.
Responding to the needs of the local community, and in ongoing consultation with the community, the redevelopment of Kingsley Hall will help to transform the community of Becontree and surrounding Wards by providing a very relevant, modern facility to promote spiritual, social, educational, vocational and holistic well-being.
The Project will uplift and refresh the existing sports hall, workshop space and community cafe (which will become a teaching kitchen/ enterprise zone).
These retained/ refurbished areas will be linked to a new building with multi-purpose flexible meeting spaces (worship, theatre, dance etc.), cafe, active community street and green spaces. Both the new build and refurbishment will increase accessibility for disabled people, with wider corridors and easier transitions a design priority.
Adam Bonner, Executive Director of Public Engagement, Livability said:
“Today’s confirmation of such significant support from the GLA for Livability Kingsley Hall is a huge encouragement to the volunteers, staff and wider community in Becontree.
GLA’s investment and incredible endorsement enables everyone involved to help Kingsley Hall continue to be at the heart of making the community livable for the next generation.”
Kingsley Hall has been part of the community for 90 years, drawing strength from local ownership. Kingsley Hall and Livability have a shared commitment to improving outcomes for local people long-term and aim for the new build infrastructure to support operations for the next 90 years (and beyond).
Livability and Kingsley Hall have been working hard to improve the services on site, and recently completed the extension and refurbishment of the nursery. This increased their capacity by 16 places and dramatically improved the facilities.
Following the community centre redevelopment we are looking to add accessible housing to the site in time. Together, the completed community centre, nursery provision, and affordable housing will form a true hub for local people – a beacon of support in a community of significant disadvantage.
Chris Kapnisis Church and Centre Director said:
“It’s simply great news to hear of the amazing GLA funding, which will support and enable new community spaces for the people of Barking and Dagenham. The design and redevelopment plans for Kingsley Hall has been an exciting community led process and we look forward to delivering great new facilities for the area that we love and serve.”
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said:
“This is a great example of a project which aims to give Londoners of all backgrounds the opportunity to be actively involved in shaping how their city develops. The Mayor and I are committed to supporting ‘good growth’ by building a city where all Londoners have access to the same opportunities and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this project has in the future.”
Read more about Kingsley Hall’s nursery
Read more about Kingsley Hall