Community centre creates new Hope

Author: Nina Romain


Over 300 guests attended the official opening of the new family-friendly Hope Corner Community Centre last weekend, as part of Barnet’s regeneration of the Dollis Valley Estate.

Hope Corner, a building delivered by Countryside and L&Q in partnership with the Council, replaces the former Valley Centre on Dollis Valley Estate, and was formally opened Saturday 17 September.

The regeneration of the Dollis Valley estate aims to create a new integrated community by replacing the existing system built multi-storey homes on the estate with new mixed tenure housing development of 631 homes.

Dignitaries included MP Theresa Villiers, Mayor Councillor David Longstaff, Patron (Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the County) Martin Russell, and Council Leader, Councillor Richard Cornelius. Other guests included Rt Revd Dr Alan Gregory and Clayton Smith Bishop of St Albans, Bishop John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Rt Revd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton, and Councillors Paul Edwards and Tim Roberts from Underhill ward.

After the Bishop of Edmonton cut the centre’s ribbon and dedicated the centre in the formal reception, the guests enjoyed a barbeque. There was a face painter for the younger guests, who also made decorations for the next phase of the regeneration of Dollis Valley.

The Mayor also placed items in a time capsule, including details of the old Valley Centre as well as pictures of the estate and its former residents, which will be buried outside the Centre and opened in 2066.

Hope Corner Community Centre Manager, Rosemary Watkins, said:

“We were very pleased that so many people arrived to help launch the new community centre, and we will continue working in the positive community created in Dollis Valley and extending this warm welcome to the wider community.

“All our guests and staff had a very happy day, and enjoyed our food, which is now prepared in-house from fresh ingredients.”

Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, added:

“The Hope Centre’s large amount of attendees shows the huge amount of community spirit in our borough. It’s wonderful to see the Dollis Valley scheme take root and this community centre will be focal hub for all residents, with something for everyone.

“I know that everyone will enjoy this new family environment in the future as much as they enjoyed the opening day.”

Matthew Higgs, Managing Director of Countryside’s Partnerships South Division, commented:

“It is fantastic news for local residents that the Hope Corner Community Centre is now officially open. It is a vital meeting place for local people and as such is a key part of the regeneration of Dollis Valley, which is really starting to take shape especially now that the nursery school is also open.”

L&Q’s Development Manager for Regeneration & Joint Venture, Asif Anwar, added:

“We are very pleased to see the completion of this fantastic community centre, which stands to become a real asset to the people who live in and around the Dollis Valley Estate for many years to come. We want to thank all our partners, but especially the Dollis Valley Partnership and Hope Corner, whose guidance and commitment helped ensure its success.”