The information below comes from a local team that is keen to acquire the old library on Acton High Street and turn it into a multifunction arts and community centre.
You can keep up to date with their progress via their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oldlibraryacton/ or ask them to add your to their email list.
Many of you have been asking us how the bid for the Old Library is progressing and we’re grateful for your continued support. By now we’d hoped Ealing Council would have published the invitation to tender and associated marketing information about the Passmore Edwards building but there’s been an admin delay.
We’ve been working hard behind the scenes, having met two developers, with a third on the cards very soon.
We’ve visited the building twice with Council Officers. Happy to report it’s in much better condition than you’d think from the outside. It’s being well looked after by live-in guardians. We estimate it will cost £1.3 million to upgrade but the structure is sound.
We’ve had indications of interest in renting or leasing the space from two local educational charities. This would provide the Arts Centre with an income stream and help meet Borough criteria.
We’ve also had some interest in the proposed restaurant on the ground floor - which we hope would provide catering and hospitality training as well as be a destination restaurant in its own right. This would also provide a steady income stream.
We’re visiting similar ventures in other areas and have been fortunate enough to be offered introductions to people who are frank about their business model, their running costs and their failures as well as their successes.
We need to update the business case presented to the Borough three years ago. Specifically, we need to recommission the architect and surveyors who will of course require payment for their professional services. We have compiled a list of possible organisations and charities who may be able to help fund this new business case.
So many of you ask what you can do to help.
You can write to any of the local Councillors standing for the local elections in May and ask if they plan to support the community bid. Their names are on the Ealing.gov.uk website under Councillors. If any of them come to your door seeking your support, you can ask them for theirs.
You can write to the Chief Executive of Ealing Council Paul Najsarek NajsarekP@ealing.gov.uk and tell him how much you are looking forward to an Arts Centre for you, your family and friends.
You can help with providing more introductions to organisations with similar business models, or charities who might help with funding the bid itself if you have friends in the business.
You can help with publicity. We’re building a website and we want to design a leaflet to reach people not on social media. If you have media or publishing skills, we can use you.
We have a professional bid writer helping. She has to update the costings to ensure the business case is watertight. If you have financial skills, we can definitely use you.
If you have friends or neighbours who might like to receive updates, please ask them to write email@example.com and we will add them to our database.
Thank you again for your support. It’s good to know that all sections of the community want an Arts Centre for Acton.