Ashburton Hall will soon open its doors to allow local community groups to access the recently refurbished space.
After a major modernisation project, the council will initially be handing the former library building in Ashburton Park over to Deshi Arts, a creative partnership that will manage bookings through until March 2018.
Over 60 local artists have already expressed an interest in being part of the launch event, which is planned for 8 December to coincide with the Winter Wonderland and Cronx Brewery beer festivals taking place in the park and the hall.
Deshi Arts is a South Norwood-based partnership between Devaki Thomas and Shuba Rao, that specialises in the interim management of events spaces, using them to showcase interesting arts, performance and community projects. Devaki is an award-winning festival director, arts marketing and publicity specialist, and educator, who is also a performance artist in her own right. Originally from Western Canada, she now lives locally. Shuba is an award-winning social entrepreneur who brings decades of global experience in operations, project management, fundraising and branding to the partnership.
They will operate the building until March, when GLL takes over the running of the council’s leisure facilities across the borough. Speaking both for herself and on behalf of Devaki, Shuba said: “We both share the council’s vision to create a community arts hub in Ashburton Hall that will add to the growing buzz in Croydon as a front-runner for the title of London Borough of Culture. We’re thrilled to embark on this exciting endeavour, and delighted to be able to share our skills and experience to provide a creative space for the local community.”
GLL will be putting further investment into the area to refurbish the nearby kiosk and will also make the hall fully accessible to the local community, the voluntary sector, and commercial organisations looking to put on events. It will be run in conjunction with the sports facilities in the park, providing modern changing facilities.
The building has a range of spaces, with two halls, respectively holding 240 and 80 people, and four smaller workshop and meeting rooms, as well as a café area with capacity for around 150. Full details will be available on a dedicated bookings website which can be accessed via www.croydon.gov.uk/ashburtonhall.
“This is fantastic news for everyone in the local area. Ashburton Hall will soon be returned to its rightful place at the heart of the community after this major investment by the council. We committed to delivering on this project right from the outset, and the future of the hall is now secured for generations to come.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport