Proposals have been announced to knock and rebuild the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, London.
Management announced their plans for the west London centre following confirmation of a £550,000 grant from the Irish Government to help buy the premises.
Subject to planning permission, there are now plans to demolish the exsisting building and build a new centre with residential accommodation on the upper floors.
Over the last year the centre has been campaigning to save its Blacks Road venue, which had been put up for sale by the local council.
In a statement, the ICC board thanked its supporters, saying: “We wish to confirm that the Irish Government has granted £550,000 to the Irish Cultural Centre to assist us secure the purchase of the freehold of this building and in recognition of the significant work carried out by the Centre to promote Irish culture in London.
“We wish to publicly express our sincere gratitude to the Irish Government for assisting us secure a permanent home in London that is dedicated to Irish culture, our country’s greatest resource.”
The Irish Cultural Centre is currently in the advanced stages of negotiations with both Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association (SBHA) to allow the centre to purchase the freehold of the premises and provide a lease to SBHA.
The statement added: “Subject to planning permission being granted, the proposed strategy is to demolish the existing structure and erect a new building incorporating a well-designed centre with greater revenue-generation capacity and with residential accommodation to be located on the upper floors.
“It is anticipated that this project would take circa 18 months to complete. During this period the centre’s services will continue to be delivered locally.”
See next week’s Irish Post – out Wednesday, Janaury 25 – for Robert Mulhern’s report into the future of the Irish Cultural Centre.