Alexandra Palace – the iconic Grade II-listed entertainment and leisure destination in North London, which last year embarked on a complex regeneration programme to repair, restore and develop the site – has been awarded over £320,000 in funding by English Heritage.
English Heritage has awarded this funding to Alexandra Palace to enable the next step of the regeneration programme – urgent repair work to the building – to be carried out.
Built as a “People’s Palace” 1873, Alexandra Palace continues to fulfil its original purpose of hosting an eclectic mix of live music, sport and cultural events and exhibitions. However, parts of the building are in need of repair, particularly if the Trustees are to realise their vision of a more financially sustainable model for the site and improve and capitalise more fully on its public benefit.
Matt Cooke, Chair of Alexandra Park and Palace’s Trust, said: “We are delighted that we have secured this much-needed funding from English Heritage to make repairs to the fabric of Ally Pally. 2012 is a huge year for us; we have just hosted the World Darts Championship and The Masters Snooker tournament and, this summer, we will host the Olympic Torch as well as becoming the venue for ‘Holland Heineken House’, the Dutch national cultural ‘house’, the biggest in London..
“Although in the very early stages of regenerating this magnificent heritage property, with further investment and careful stewardship we are very optimistic that we will be able to achieve our ultimate goal to develop and enhance this fantastic cultural destination and resource for the local community, Londoners and visitors from across the world.”
Primarily, the funding will be used to repair Alexandra Palace’s South Terrace, the roof of its Victorian Theatre, and parts of the building next to the ice rink, which, was itself given a £2.3million refurbishment last year. In addition, it will be used to fund Alexandra Palace’s conservation management plan being prepared by the recently appointed conservation architects Donald Insall Associates, whose past projects include being lead architect on a new 1930s inspired café at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and advising the Historic Royal Palaces on repairing Hampton Court’s Wolsey Chimneys.
Paddy Pugh, English Heritage’s Planning Director for London, said: “Alexandra Palace was built as a “People’s Palace” and continues to be one of north London’s best-known and loved historic buildings. However, it has long been in need of repair and English Heritage is delighted to offer grant aid towards this latest phase of its regeneration. Repairing roofs and the South Terrace are important steps which will help the Trust secure a sound future for the Palace.”
Working closely with Alexandra Palace’s regeneration team, Donald Insall Associates will advise on a number of strategic building issues, not least to ensure future development proposals take full advantage of Ally Pally being a ‘heritage asset’ in order to deliver sensitive and well balanced proposals for the building’s future prior to public consultation.
Alexandra Palace’s Chief Executive Duncan Wilson OBE, whose experience of managing major cultural destinations such as Somerset House and the Greenwich Foundation, in addition to transforming and opening up historical buildings to the public and making commercial successes of them, is leading the complex regeneration programme.