In a borough which has always enjoyed an incredible sense of community, Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End has been a hub for Harrovians to come together and to enjoy local and national talent since 1988.
Built on the site of an old school, the current arts centre complex is focused on the wonderful Elliott Hall, a Grade II listed auditorium with capacity for over 500 people. Hosting events from community groups to theatre and music, the Harrow Arts Centre is an integral part of our community – and it’s about to get even better!
Injecting new life into our borough
After securing redevelopment funding in 2019, Harrow Council has embarked on a number of regeneration projects within the borough (you may already have seen the recent work in Wealdstone) which aims to bring new life to the area. As part of the redevelopment program, Harrow Council has appointed Chris Dyson architects to create a new section of the Harrow Arts Centre. The celebrated firm, based in Spitalfields, won the bid for the project last year and, has recently released an image showing the plans for the new building.
(photograph – Chris Dyson Photography)
The new, L-shaped building will provide much needed classrooms and workshops for Harrow Arts Centre and will be highly energy efficient. According to Harrow Council, the building will take advantage of energy saving practices including solar heating and rainwater harvesting, which is great news for Harrow – and our planet!
From the East End to Hatch End
A spokesperson for Chris Dyson architects says that the inspiration for the new design concept has been taken directly from the history of the area and, has been influenced by early farm buildings within Hatch End and Pinner. The firm is committed to making sure that the new building reflects Harrow’s unique and cultural image within a modern, energy efficient structure.
Founder, Chris Dyson, says, ‘Our aspiration is to design a new building with its own identity, responding to a specific programme while also sensitively complementing neighbouring heritage structures. Our intention is to create clear, legible and direct relationships with all external spaces.’
Considering that, until very recently, Harrow Arts Centre was facing a very uncertain future, there is hope that the new section will not only provide more space for local groups and businesses but will help to encourage Harrow youngsters to get involved with local events.
In addition to entertainment, classes and workshops, the Harrow Arts Centre offers the Arts Award – a nationally recognised qualification which aims to encourage young people’s development as artists and arts leaders. Children and young people aged between 5 and 25 are able to develop wider cultural skills, celebrate the arts and gain a qualification up to the Silver Award level at Harrow Arts Centre.
Starting 2020 with a bang
While we wait for the new section to be unveiled, there’s plenty going on at Harrow Arts Centre in the meantime. Events for January include Milton Jones in Milton: Impossible, Deepak Pandit Live In Concert, Holocaust Memorial Day and, Bring Your Own Baby Comedy.
For more information about Harrow Arts Centre, visit: https://harrowarts.com/about-hac
By Nicci Rae
(Featured Image: Artuk.org)