Harrow Council’s cabinet has backed a new vision for a bigger and better Harrow Arts Centre, when it handed over its arts & heritage services to Cultura London, an independent Charitable Trust.
The charity is raising funds with a plan to transform Harrow Arts Centre into a “Southbank Centre” – with cinemas, galleries, cafes, bars and a new, larger theatre to compliment the historic Elliott Hall.
Cllr Sue Anderson, Harrow Council portfolio holder for culture said: “Our residents treasure Harrow Arts Centre but it can only survive if it is financially successful. The council can no longer afford to subsidise it. That means the Arts Centre needs to grow and become a true, modern cultural hub for everyone in the borough – and beyond.”
Cultura London will also run Harrow’s premier historic site, Headstone Manor and Museum and the successful Harrow Music Service. The Cultura London team previously helped secure the Manor’s multi-million pound refurbishment grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Cultura London is aiming to raise £3.5 million to begin the Arts Centre’s redevelopment. The first phase would demolish some of the temporary buildings and bring the cinemas to the site.
More than £2 million of the funding will come from grants and other industry funding, which will trigger a £1 million Harrow Council loan. The local fundraising campaign has already raised more than £30,000 towards the first phase of the development.
Cultura London Chief Executive Sandra Bruce-Gordon said: “This is in an important moment for Harrow. We are delighted that Harrow Council have taken this far-sighted decision and have backed culture in the area.”