An Open Letter to all Residents of Primrose Hill

Dear Primrose Hill,

We want to ask serious questions of all who live in the area. Do you just live here, or do you belong? Is a city just a collection of boxes with unconnected people in them, or is there such a thing as community? Is Primrose Hill a neighbourhood? There will be some who want nothing to do with other residents, and that is their entitlement, of course. But there will be others among you who feel that the quality of urban living is all the better for knowing your neighbours and sharing activities with them.

We feel strongly that the Primrose Hill Community Centre is worth keeping

We pose these questions because this is a moment of opportunity…. After several years of negotiations, the Primrose Hill Community Association has signed a 25-year lease on the Community Centre building in Hopkinson’s Place, for £250,000. In the long run this will substantially save money, as Camden Council would otherwise be charging rent for the building’s use. Essentially it will secure a future for the Centre. It means, though, that we are being tested on how much we value the facility.

On 1 September we are launching an appeal to raise £250,000 by asking everyone in Primrose Hill to contribute what they can afford. Do contact us at leaseappeal@phca.cc if you can help in any way or if you have further questions.

Five years ago we were posed a similar challenge over the Library, another victim of local government cuts. The response was strong and generous and showed that Primrose Hill could take an independent stand when its values were being challenged. As a result we have the well-used Primrose Hill Community Library of which we are all proud.

We feel strongly that the Primrose Hill Community Centre is worth keeping. It is a flexible space for meetings and classes, for childcare and adult development, for social events for young and old, for music-making, parties, birthdays and wakes. It is an accessible space for voting, campaigning, information-giving and offering help to all callers. It is an office hub for managing bookings and Community Association initiatives elsewhere, such as the Lunch Club, the Summer Fair, the Library and On The Hill magazine.

It is no accident that Primrose Hill is spoken of as having a neighbourly atmosphere; this is the result of collaboration and communication over the years by our predecessors. Now it is our chance.

In short, it is the platform for doing together as a community what we cannot do alone. In an average day, hundreds of Primrose Hill feet, from the youngest to the oldest, pass through its doors. It is no accident that Primrose Hill is spoken of as having a neighbourly atmosphere; this is the result of collaboration and communication over the years by our predecessors. Now it is our chance. Surely between us we can raise the money to secure the Centre at the heart of our community.

 

Yours hopefully,

Maureen Betts, Dick Bird, Monica Crooks, Mick Hudspeth,
Doro Marden, Colin St Johnston, Pam White