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Money to help arts blossom

Tue 12 March 2019, 3:26 pm

Investment of 2 million will expand popular Harrow Arts Centre (HAC) in Hatch End, which has seen demand outstripping the space available.

Harrow Council pledged the money, after winning a grant of £760,000 from the mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. The improvements will include turning redundant buildings into new artists’ studios, new classrooms and meeting spaces, and improving outdoor areas. The first new learning space will be available from autumn this year, with the artists’ studios following in 2020.

Councillor Keith Ferry, portfolio holder for business, planning and regeneration, said: “It wasn’t long ago that the arts centre faced an uncertain future, but we take great pride in saying those days are long behind us – 230,000 people visited the site last year: we want 300,000 people and more visiting the HAC in future, and this project will make that possible. But this investment doesn’t just mean fun. It means jobs and places for our small cultural industries to grow and thrive, helping them all on their journey to success - this is what the council does best. Economic development and cultural wealth go hand-in-hand at the HAC, and that’s something we can all believe in.”

The council has recently completed consultation on its first cultural strategy that outlines a vision for promoting involvement in cultural and artistic activities. It aims to maximise opportunities to improve health and support the growth of the borough’s creative sector. The strategy was developed in a series of meetings that included a forum of arts groups and culture venues, the Greater London Authority, councillors and council workshops.

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