Richmond Council is investing nearly £7m to bring much-needed community facilities to Ham as part of the Ham Close regeneration scheme.

The new Community Centre will replace the existing Ham Youth Centre. It will be managed by Achieving for Children and will offer tuition and an alternative curriculum programme for school students who are struggling with mainstream education during the day and then youth club activities after 3 pm. This will include various activities for local teenagers, including arts, sports, music, and ICT.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, leader of Richmond Council, said:

“The redevelopment of Ham Close is a landmark scheme for our borough, but it’s not just about creating quality new homes for our residents, it’s also about building a strong, diverse and vibrant community in Ham. At the heart of this must be space that supports social and wellbeing activities, learning, creativity and innovation.

“I am delighted that a brand-new Community Centre and a MakerLabs now have the go-ahead thanks to a final investment from the Council.”

The centre will also be considered as a future Family Hub, pending the successful pilot of a Family Hub at the White House in Hampton North.

Cllr Penny Frost, chair of the council’s Children and Education Services Committee, commented:

“This is an opportunity to bring services into the heart of the community, supporting children, young people and families to learn and build confidence, as well as overcome challenges and be more resilient. Having a strong community offer to complement our excellent local schools will improve outcomes for all children and young people in the area, ensuring this community is a safe and supportive place for them to grow and thrive for many generations to come.”

The centre will also be available for use by the wider community through a planned programme. Residents can rent spaces, including the community lounge, kitchen, meeting spaces, and sports hall.

The new MakerLabs will provide a purpose-built facility and home for the Richmond MakerLabs (RML), where members of the community come to work on their projects and seek guidance and knowledge from the group leaders on a range of crafts, including woodwork, repairs, and electronics. The council will continue to work with RML to develop its programme, including initiatives encouraging sustainable behaviours, such as a repair café and a bicycle workshop.

The two new facilities have already been granted planning permission following significant public engagement, captured in the Ham Close Statement of Community Involvement.

Capital receipts from land parcels sold to the Richmond Housing Partnership for the overall regeneration scheme will generate £4.79m of the funding, with the Council choosing to invest a further £2.1m contribution from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The entire scheme will generate approximately £7m of CIL once complete.



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