Clapham Park residents celebrate new community centre

| 08 August 2019

Summary: The Mayor of Lambeth has officially opened Clapham Park Cube, our new community centre for residents

Hundreds of residents gathered at the Love Clapham Park fun day in Lambeth to enjoy the summer weather – and celebrate the opening of their brand new community centre.

The new facility – called Clapham Park Cube – was delivered for residents by housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley (MTVH), as part of its £1.6bn regeneration of the Clapham Park estate.

Mayor of Lambeth Ibrahim Dogus was joined by local councillor Nanda Manley-Browne, and Clapham Park residents Lydia Serwaa and Tony Dabour, in officially cutting the ribbon on the building.

The new centre has a range of facilities, such as a multi-use sports hall, IT suite and training kitchen. A full programme of free classes and workshops is already in place for residents – including weekly employment and money advice sessions, a homework club and fitness activities.

As part of the wider Love Clapham Park event, there was food from local businesses, information stalls for community groups, and a fun fair for kids. Taster sessions were also on offer for activities based at the community centre – varying from tai chi and arts and crafts, to boxing.

Residents have been closely involved in planning the design of the new building to ensure it meets the needs of the entire community. Feedback was collected at public regeneration consultation events in 2016 and 2017 – and workshops took place last year where residents were able to choose fixtures and fittings, and even carpet colours.

A resident volunteer group set up by MTVH, who contribute to the management of the community centre and advise on the activities and services offered there, were also involved in agreeing its name. Clapham Park Cube is both a reference to shape of the building and to nineteenth century architect Thomas Cubitt, who became the first landowner of the estate in 1825.

To date, MTVH has built more than 730 new homes and refurbished nearly 780 at Clapham Park. The social landlord is currently in the final stage of building a further 164 homes, and will commence construction on 50 more early next year. The coming phases of the Clapham Park Regeneration will ultimately deliver more than 2,500 new homes. MTVH team members were on hand at the fun day to talk to residents about the plans, answer questions and gather feedback.

Clapham Park resident Aaliyah Shodipe said: “The new space will be at the centre of our community. MTVH is investing in the future of Clapham Park and it’s amazing that we have a building like this to call our own – where we can come for sports sessions, meet neighbours or get free services, like career advice.”

Mayor of Lambeth Ibrahim Dogus said: “The Clapham Park Cube demonstrates what can be achieved when people with passion who care about the community work together. It is wonderful example of collaboration between the residents of Clapham Park and Metropolitan Thames Valley. It is a building for the community, by the community – and will be a place where people thrive and belong.”

Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive of MTVH, said: “The new community centre has been designed to meet residents’ needs, and we’re proud to open it officially today. We look forward to seeing it becoming a central fixture in the Clapham Park community – a place where local people can meet socially, improve their health and wellbeing, and take advantage of the varied selection of activities on offer.

“Today’s event also provides the opportunity to look forward to the coming phases of the Clapham Park regeneration – which will deliver thousands of new homes as well as a range of additional improvements and facilities for the entire community.”