East London's Village Underground has won a multi-million pound proposal to renovate a former art deco building that has been sitting dormant for 30 years into a music and arts venue.
During a meeting on July 20, the Hackney Council approved the plans for the new venue, to be called the Hackney Arts Centre. Village Underground won by a hefty majority, receiving 428 letters of support and 12 letters of objection. In addition, Village Underground will also receive £600,000 from an impact investment fund run by a collaboration of public, private and philanthropic organisations called The Arts Impact Fund.
The venue aims to be fully open and functioning by spring of 2018.
"We're hugely excited for this and for the future of the project as we now have the opportunity to build a world class cultural venue for Hackney and London. It's a testimony to Hackney Council that they support major arts projects in this way, that they believe in their local cultural organisations and ultimately, that they act on the belief that culture and art are fundamental to us all, as individuals and society as a whole," Auro Foxcroft, founder of Village Underground told RA.
Back in April, East London's Village Underground set its sights on an 81-year old Hackney Arts Centre, which had had its doors locked for 30 years. Calling it a "hidden treasure", the group aimed to reopen the building as a music venue.