Bethnal Green residents and Somali residents from across the borough, came together on Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the fourth community hub to be delivered by Tower Hamlets Council.
Granby Hall has undergone a full refurbishment to transform it into a high quality, accessible space to be enjoyed by residents in the local area and to be a hub with a focus on the Somali community.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “I was delighted to attend the opening of the community hub at Granby Hall. At a time when many areas around the country are sadly seeing the closure of community facilities, we are proud to be delivering a network of hubs that will make a real difference to our residents.
“I was particularly pleased to welcome so many people from our Somali community to the launch. We made a commitment through the Somali Taskforce to provide the community with a space that meets their needs and we’re pleased that moving forward, Granby Hall will deliver on that promise.”
Among the groups that will return to the building after its refurbishment are the Bentworth Friendly Club, the Somali Senior Citizens Club and the local Tenants and Residents Associations.
Poplar HARCA will initially manage the building and will work with local people on building capacity to eventually move to it being managed by the community.
Community hubs provide meeting and event space in buildings that offer a range of room sizes, kitchen facilities, accessible toilets, Wi-Fi and storage. Space is bookable at affordable rates to ensure that local groups and the borough’s thriving community and voluntary sector can make best use of it.
Councillor Asma Begum, Chair of the Somali Task Force, said: “The Somali community in Tower Hamlets contributes so much and I’m very pleased that they will have the opportunity to shape the future of Granby Hall.
“Of course this is a hub for the wider community to enjoy too. One of the best things about our borough is that people from all backgrounds get on well together and I’m confident that it will be a resource where everyone can benefit.”