The Harrow Resident’s Regeneration Panel (RRP) was set up by London Borough of Harrow in 2015 to provide a platform for local residents to act as a critical friend in reviewing all the development and regeneration programmes taking place across the borough. As such, the meetings are independently facilitated and chaired by Raj Kumar from One Enterprise Ltd.
Whilst this role may seem primarily about looking at the bricks and mortar, the RRP has been more holistic in its approach. The panel considers:
– the link between the different developments, i.e. how these new spaces impact on each other and the importance of ensuring the connecting “corridors” take into account wider infrastructure requirements;
– factors that will enhance the quality of life for residents moving into the new homes and also in the neighbourhood; and
– how the social, economic and cultural infrastructure can be improved as part of delivering new homes and commercial units.
In November the RRP’s meeting was held at Whitefriars Studios in Wealdstone, which has a number of studios for local artists. The main goal of this meeting was to establish a network of local agencies that could benefit from and also support improving the cultural offer within Harrow.
Located at the back of Harrow on the Hill station, ARC House provides an indoor and outdoor performance space, café and function room. It officially opened in April 2015 and its amphitheatre layout has real potential to become a community and cultural hub for the whole of Harrow.
This meeting facilitated the discussion of how organisations can get involved in helping make a success of ARC House, including working with NOMAD who are taking over the running and management of ARC House from early 2020.
Networks and partnerships
NOMAD is a charity that works with young leaders who are from refugee and migrant backgrounds. They have been working with young people in Harrow for around 13 years and have previously received support from the British Film Institute and the Southbank Centre.
You can find more information on NOMAD at www.nomad-uk.org.
A registered charity that works to empower communities by distributing surplus food to families and others in need of support. My Yard is now based on the Grange Farm estate in South Harrow and uses food to help build up community resilience, as well as providing more cultural opportunities through art and music.
They are currently looking for mentor volunteers and are also happy to provide catering services for local events.
You can follow My Yard on Instagram here. (www.instagram.com/myyard.org.uk)
In 2017, the ground floor of Winsor & Newton’s Wealdstone factory was converted into a creative workspace, originally funded by the GLA (Greater London Authority). The new space accommodates 14 studios and an exhibition gallery.
From Sunday 1st December, the studios are running their 2020 Art Competition open to those equivalent to the ages of school years 12 and 13. More information can be found here http://www.whitefriars.org.uk/competition
You can take a look at the current resident artists’ work on the Whitefriars’ Instagram here. (www.instagram.com/whitefriars_studios)
London Borough of Harrow
The Culture and Leisure Service covers the library service, Harrow Arts Centre, Headstone Manor Museum, Harrow Music Service, Leisure Centres and Sports Development. Head of Service, Tim Bryan, reported the following:
–Harrow Arts Centre has been making good progress in making savings, as well as increasing its usage and income. Improvements to the dated spaces are ongoing.
–Greenhill Library is due to open in Spring 2020 and will also include a garden space, with the intention that it will be a flexible community hub including meeting, study, activity and exhibition spaces. It’s opening hours will remain the same as the existing library.
–Bannister Sports Centre has received planning permission to improve the football pitches, including a full sized 3G pitch with floodlighting. There is a planning application due to go to Committee in December for an overflow car park.
Economic Development officer Shehzad Ahmed provided an update on the ongoing developments in Harrow’s town centre.
–Wealdstone Square is due to launch as an active space for local residents in March next year. Works are planning to finish in January 2020.
-Works are due to start in early 2020 to create a new public square in Greenhill Place. It will provide a space for five food kiosks, 16 market stalls, seating and an art exhibition space.
-Redundant buildings in Harrow Arts Centre are set to be brought back into use now that funding has been acquired.
-An ‘Expressions of Interest’ project seeking artists to produce murals in Wealdstone, South Harrow and Rayners Lane is due to be launched. Priority will be given to artists working in partnership with local groups and schools. Dependent on budget, there is the possibility to expand this project to other areas.
Charles Gardner Memorial Fund
A trust fund was set up in memory of Charles Gardner, an innovative youth worker whose legacy lives on almost 100 years after he died rescuing a local boy from drowning. Part of his estate includes a plot of land in South Harrow. Project Coordinator, Andrew Morsely, announced that the trustees are currently reviewing the process of building a multi-purpose activity centre for young people to use recreationally.
The site offers great potential due to the lack of green space nearby, and a number of existing youthwork partners such as the Harrow District Scouts will be involved. The centre’s main objectives will be to support young people through improved sport facilities, as well as helping to transform issues around knife crime, mental health and social inequality. There are potential future plans to develop the remainder of the field and forest site as an augmented reality outdoor activity space.
Lois Goswell, a freelance digital content creator who works to help brands with online marketing, has partnered with One Enterprise LTD in making content for the website, such as photos of the last RRP meeting. Her services include web design, videography and blog writing, and her recent work has involved helping local charities and organisations gain a better online presence. She also works as a travel blogger, promoting travel companies through her social media and blog.
If you would like to work with Lois, you can find her on Instagram here. (www.instagram.com/auburnroe)
For more information on the RRP, please contact Raj Kumar at One Enterprise LTD:
Mobile: 07768 858584