Estate of Play
Our £2.4m dream to restore, improve and expand Kensal House Estate’s neglected community rooms has received planning permission and listed building consent. SPID has struggled for fifteen years to run the dilapidated, Grade II* listed community rooms as a much needed community and youth centre. We have finally secured funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery and the Mayor’s Fund for this once in a lifetime opportunity. The benefits will be massive in terms of investment, jobs, restored heritage, improved safety, increased free activities and scaled up opportunities to help young people find work.
Designs began in 2015 when SPID revealed a local need for an additional space which would provide a foyer and allow for more community workshops. When the Residents Association urged SPID to reduce the proposed extension, SPID changed their plans. We designed a new space located unobtrusively in the corner with a roof garden. Increasing the community resource and scaling up free activities is a fixed funding condition. It takes up only one tenth of the garden, all of which green space is being replaced through extended greenery around our building.
These careful, heartfelt plans have been supported by Historic England, more than five funders, and the majority of Kensal residents. Supporters believe objections were fuelled by disinformation and frustration over the poor condition of the estate as a whole.
SPID have offered to pay the council to improve the rest of Kensal House. The community rooms are currently riddled with leaks, poor electrics and crumbling walls. The refurbishment will restore this neglected historic gem and create a community resource for tomorrow’s children.
““I’m pleased the council saw the big picture and supported the refurbishment of this incredible youth space. Young people like me need this project now more than ever” Naomi Israel, Youth Ambassador
“SPID has championed our historic estate valiantly for fifteen years –I‘m relieved that RBKC have finally given the go ahead to benefit residents and locals” Ivor Flint, Kensal Resident
“A great example of how the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund supports initiatives which help foster stronger communities. S.P.I.D Theatre Company is creating an important space where local people can come together and where skills can be learned and shared in years ahead” said Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills