Could Brentford Magistrates Court belong to the Community?
Mary Macleod asks whether Outer London Fund could be used to buy it
Mary Macleod, Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth, has asked Hounslow Council to explore ways of purchasing Brentford Magistrates Court on behalf of the community. Mary believes that the magistrate’s court could be used as an ideal community resource that would encourage the regeneration of the high street in Brentford. The court could maintain an indoor and outdoor market selling food, antiques, clothes and other variables for the local community. It could be placed in a community trust as a self sustaining entity to be used for community events and festivities. Mary has managed to gain support from the Brentford High Street Steering Group and local businesses for this proposal.
The project would be a great opportunity for small businesses that are priced out of the area and would help rejuvenate the High Street when the economy is still fragile. This would also compliment the redevelopment of the south side of the High Street and Commerce Road. An interesting, destination market would bring people to the area and could only have a positive effect for the existing businesses, residents and those considering living in the area.
Mary has proposed that money could be used from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund to help finance this scheme. However, Hounslow Council have earmarked this money for other improvements on the High Street. Mary would like to encourage any private investors who would like to use this building for a community resource to get in touch with either herself or Brentford High Street Steering Group to explore this exciting opportunity.
Mary said “If we cannot secure the Court’s future for the community, then we may not be able to use the car park for festivities, such as the very successful St George’s Day celebrations. I am happy to work with any group, body or organisation in the hope of maintaining this building as a focus for community action.”
Cllr Ruth Cadbury replied as follows:
" is an exciting idea, and we are all in agreement the building presents great opportunities for the High Street. The potential development of markets and community uses is very attractive and we feel would be very helpful in the regeneration of the area, indeed they feature in the work we have already worked up, taking place in the "square". However, after having studied the idea carefully, we feel the project is out of the scope and scale of the OLF Round 2. In terms of investment it is our understanding that the initial purchase price of the building could be around £1m but the additional investment needed to make the inside of the building work is probably around the £2m.
October 31, 2011