Council sells Irish Centre

irish centreLB Hammersmith & Fulham has completed the sale of the Irish Cultural Centre building to the centre’s board of directors.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council agreed two years ago to sell the centre – on Blacks Road, Hammersmith – and several other buildings in order to reduce its historic debt which, at the time, stood at £133million.

The Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith (ICCH) has now bought the building – after they were able to raise funds and secure a grant from the Irish government.

Following planning permission, which was granted last year, the existing building will now be demolished and redeveloped into a part five storey, part seven storey building to provide a new community centre on the ground and first floor and 24 self-contained flats from the second floor upwards. The building will also include a new café, bar, concert hall, offices, classrooms and rooms for hire.

Jim O’Hara, Chairman of the Irish Cultural Centre, said: “We can now look forward to the construction of a brand new purpose built Centre within the next two years, and our partnership with Shepherds Bush Housing Association means that additional housing will become available within the borough.”

The council’s policy of selling some of its buildings has seen its historic debt driven down to below £100million.

Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council Deputy Leader, said: “This a fantastic deal for both the Irish community and local taxpayers as we have managed to secure the future of this much-loved community centre and improve the council’s finances at the same time.”

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