First Brent community asset transfer

The Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre has reopened thanks to a lease arrangement between Brent Council and environmental charity Thames21 under the council’s ‘Community Asset Transfer’ policy – the first building to do so.

The Community Asset Transfer policy was introduced by the council last year and allows for the transfer of council buildings to community groups that can help the council achieve its vision for the borough, at a time when the council has to make budget savings.

Thames 21 is an environmental education organisation with a track record of delivering effective, community volunteering, engagement and educational events and activities to local communities promoting environmental awareness.

The centre, on Birchen Grove in Kingsbury, provides an area rich in bio-diversity for Brent primary school children to learn why it is important to look after all aspects of our environment.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We introduced our Community Asset Transfer policy last year to allow council property to be transferred to community groups that can help us deliver services that Brent residents and the community value, at a time when local funding from central government is being drastically cut.

“This particular transfer is the very first in Brent and means that the centre can continue as a valuable educational resource for local schools and children.”

The Welsh Harp Centre will be having an official reopening in the summer when all residents can tour the facilities.

Debbie Leach, Chief Executive of Thames 21 said: “We’ll be announcing details of the reopening in the coming weeks, so I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t been before to drop us a line and come and see it for themselves. It is a fantastic place to discover as it shows us that the natural world is very much alive and happening here in Brent and that we all have a crucial role to play in its future.”

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