On Saturday I wrote about the missed opportunity of 457 council owned garages sitting empty.
But the asset management for them looks positively rigorous compared to the 23 Tenants and Residents Association’s halls which the council owns in the borough.
I recently asked the Council:
“What is the revenue from hiring out tenants halls? Please provide in the form of a list of the tenants halls in the borough (with the figure of nil beside any where there is no revenue.) Please include all different sources – for instance if there is regular income from using as a nursery school, or a weekly session from judo or just a single booking for a party. Please indicate what income goes to the TRA and what goes to the Council.”
For the following six the answer is nil:
Becklow Gardens Residents Hall, Becklow Road, London, W12 9HB
Charecroft Estate Residents Hall, Rockley Road, London, W12 8PQ
Flora Gardens Residents Hall, Flora Gardens, London, W6 0HP
Springvale Estate Residents Hall, Blythe Road, London, W14 0PW
Wood Lane resident Centre, 80 White City Close, London, W12 7DZ
Woodmans Mews Residents Hall, Woodmans Mews, London, W12 0HU
So that is a poor start. Of course they may be fizzing with activities for which the local TRA decides to not to charge a fee because there is some community benefit. That would be fair enough. But I suspect it is more likely these buildings sit empty for months on end.
Then there were others where the annual revenue was pretty low. These nine each had revenue below £5,000:
Aspen Gardens Residents Hall, Aspen Gardens, London, W6 9JD – £705.18p
Emlyn Gardens Residents Hall, Emlyn Gardens, London, W12 9TH – £1, 067.50p
Gibbs Green Residents Hall, Gibbs Green, London, W14 9NB – £3,942
Lytton Estate Residents Hall, North End Crescent, London, W14 8TE -£3,582.50
Maystar Estate Residents Hall, Sun Road, London, W14 9XN – £1,795
Philpot Square Residents Hall, Philpot Square, London, SW6 3HU – £222.50
Robert Owen Residents Hall, Fulham Palace Road, SW6 – £1,415.54
West Ken Community Centre, 80 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1TN- £4,845.83
William Church Estate Residents Hall, 60 Lime Grove, London, W12 8ED – £1,915
A few others did a bit better –
Clem Attlee Residents Hall, Freeman Place, London, SW6 7TN – £5,957
Field Road Residents Hall, Mathews Community Hall, 12 Margravine Road, London, W6 8HJ – £8,808
Fulham Court resident Hall, Fulham South Court Estate, Shottendane Road, SW6 5TJ – £8,224
Kelmscott Gardens Residents Hall, Kelmscott Gardens, London, W12 9BU – £12,720
Lancaster Court Residents Hall, Darlan Road, London, SW6 5TB – £8,821.54
Queen Caroline Estate Residents Hall, Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9EH – £5,330
In that batch above are some good examples. There is the Jack in the Box Nursery School at Kelmscott Gardens which no doubt provides useful funding to benefit residents. As does the Little Lillies Pre School at Lancaster Court.
It’s great that Field Road hosts judo and martial arts classes.
But there are a couple further examples which show the sort of potential there is to achieve more:
Twynholm Residents Hall, Laundry Road, Fulham, W6 9PZ – £86,003
White City resident Centre, India Way, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7QT – £85,139
Twynholm has a bar. Good for them. I enjoy a drink myself. Doubtless the revenue goes to some worthwhile use as well as providing a social hub.
However I think that White City Centre provides the best example with an array of community events. Crucially they have enough money to emply staff to run it. Perhaps some deal could be done where they help sort out bookings for other TRA halls in return for a share of the proceeds? Or the the Council does so (which has already happened with the Gibbs Green and West Ken examples).
It is really not acceptable for these – often quite large – buildings to sit empty. Or even to sit empty 90 per cent of the time. Sometimes they are boarded up and left to fall into disrepair.
Properly marketed for suitable uses they could provide a useful source of revenue for estate improvements as well as providing activities that would be welcomed. Another alternative would be to provide some much needed new housing.