An update on our car park charging project

A message from Louise Stewart, Alexandra Park and Palace CEO

This is the year that Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust will introduce parking charges in its car parks. In 2018 the Trustee Board agreed to consider the possibility of charging and after considerable research and planning followed by consultation in 2019, they made the decision to go ahead and were given permission to do so by the Charity Commission.

Whilst the pandemic inevitably delayed our progress in implementing charging, the financial impact of the pandemic forced us to look at all possibilities to generate new income to keep the Park and Palace safely open for the public to enjoy. We devised a donate-to-park scheme, which has generated income to enable our car parks to remain open and to support the costs of caring for the Palace and Park at a very difficult time.

We have been heartened by the level of support given by our visitors, with people arriving on foot even wanting to donate! However, the solution was only temporary and the technology a little temperamental so it will only remain operational until we implement the charging scheme, which is expected to be in Spring 2022.

We have always been clear that the intention to charge for parking is to generate income to help care for the Park and Palace and deliver our Charitable objectives, but we also recognise that it could contribute to reducing car travel. The vast majority of visits to Alexandra Palace are already undertaken on foot, by bike, bus or train.

The need to create new income sources for the Trust was vital in 2018, it is even more so now as the pandemic is not over and the strain on our finances is not easing, despite the amazing support from the Culture Recovery Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Haringey Council and donations from the public.

We understand that not everyone is supportive of the principle of charging, but the costs of looking after the Park and Palace are not decreasing and it is necessary for us to do this. We will continue to promote public transport to our visitors and discourage them from parking on surrounding streets, as we do now.

I am sure there will be some teething issues to overcome when we do implement the scheme and as always we will encourage feedback so that we understand how you feel the new scheme is operating. We have posted information and updates on our website as the project has progressed, setting out the rationale, the detailed proposal and answers to some frequently asked questions. We will continue to do this, so that you can stay informed about the changes.