Last night our new Affordable Homes department officially launched at the Charlotte Street Hotel in Soho, with 70 guests in attendance.

Mike Youkee, a board member of the Greater London Authority, was our key note speaker for the night. He delivered a fascinating speech on the challenges facing housing associations in London, with particular emphasis on affordable housing provision.

He also discussed the idea of a limit being put in place on the amount of London homes sold overseas to ease the housing shortage, as well as sharing his opinion about the Mayor’s delivery of affordable homes for the capital.

The night was a huge success and we would like to thank all of our guests and Mike Youkee for attending, as well as the Charlotte Street Hotel for providing delicious refreshments and a great venue.

Affordable Homes Launch

If you would like to find out more about Currell Affordable Homes please contact Martin Fillery on 0207 226 6611 or visit our website http://www.currell.com/new-homes/currell-affordable-homes

The Grade II listed Victorian swimming baths in Haggerston have been included in The Victorian Society’s Top 10 endangered buildings list, as plans to save it have failed during the recession.

Opened in 1904, the baths were commissioned by Shoreditch Borough Council to serve the needs of what was an underprivileged area. Designed by architect AW Cross, the building was designed to be impressive.

The building has now been closed and boarded up since 2000. Despite being a stone’s throw away from Olympic sporting facilities and Kingsland Road, the pool complex has been left neglected and failed to attract funding.

Local campaigners are calling for Hackney Council to save the building and proposals to turn it into a new healthcare centre have been proposed.

The Victorian Society is appealing to the council and says: “At a time when there is so much new development in the area it is important to capitalise on our existing assets and to put important buildings like Haggerston Baths into public use again.”

Last weekend’s inaugural Dame Dash in aid of St Joseph’s Hospital and Hackney Empire has so far raised a huge £7000.

Over 100 people joined in the race, to raise money for two well-loved Hackney institutions. Dressed in their pantomime best the runners put on a great display for onlookers on Mare Street.

Rod Bentley, Finance Director of the Hackney Empire said: “It was nice to be able to do something frontline at the Empire. A lot of people don’t realise it’s a charity so it’s good to raise awareness. We hope to see a lot more people next year.”

All the money raised will be split between the two charities and got towards helping local people in the borough.

Photos: Colin O’Brien

At 1pm on Sunday 27th October the first ever Dame Dash in aid of both St Joseph’s Hospice and the Hackney Empire will be taking place on Mare Street.

To take part contestants must don the most outlandish panto outfit they can find and dash the 1km track down Mare Street!

The Dame Dash is open to all ages, even babies in buggies!

As the name suggests, this event is all about the fancy dress. Men are invited to cake on the make-up and wear a wig like the Ugly Sisters and women can get in the spirit by dressing as pantomime heroes Buttons or Prince Charming. Children can dress as princesses, frogs and everything in between.

The event hopes to raise thousands of pounds for two great causes.  St Joseph’s Hospice offers support and medical care for families struggling with serious illness, while the Hackney Empire works to create a vibrant cultural programme that is accessible to the local community.

If you wish to take part you will need to register with the Dame Dash for a small fee and if you want to get official sponsorship for the event then you can download a free fundraising pack from the website.

For more information on the event please visit their website http://www.damedash.org/about.php

To keep posted on how our Currell team do in the Dame Dash follow us on twitter ( @currellproperty ) to see them in action!

Dame Dash

This weekend Elizabeth Hurry, Partner at Currell Management, has been selected to be a part of the Brit Chicks sky diving team to attempt a new British Record.

The 68 woman team will be attempting to perform a butterfly formation 13,000 feet up in the air, which is over two miles high!

Elizabeth is no novice when it comes to sky diving, having taken part in a previous stunt with the Brit Chicks in 2007, in which 68 women created a red cross in the sky to raise awareness for the British Red Cross.

Elizabeth is incredibly excited about the dive and says, “It is a great honour to have been selected for the Brit Chicks team and to help raise awareness of female skydivers in the UK”.

The attempt will be filmed from the air to validate that the formation is complete, before a new record can be confirmed.

We wish Elizabeth and all the Brit Chicks taking part the best of luck!

Skydiving

This week sees the opening of a new secondary school in Hackney. The Hackney New School (HNC) is based in Downham Road, just round the corner from Currell’s Hackney office.

HNA is a free school with a focus on music. Ten places each year will be reserved for pupils with an aptitude for music. The remainder are to be divided between children from surrounding areas.

All children will study music up to GCSE level. Programme Director Philippa De’Ath believes that music offers real benefits to children. “It enhances not only academic rigour but also confidence and self-esteem,” she says.

Head teacher Lesley Falconer says that as well as the emphasis on music the aim is to provide children with a rounded education. “Because of the size of the school, we can focus very much on the individual, and have a particularly tailored education for each student,” she says.

A feature of the school is that it is hoping to be able to offer every student a mentor. Lesley wants students to widen their horizons so that they can follow the careers of their choice. Mentoring is seen as an important part of this. “We want to encourage local people from all career paths and interests to become mentors,” she says.

The school will be holding an information evening about the mentoring scheme. If you would like to be put on the invitation list, please get in touch with school. You can find details on their website – www.hackneynewschool.org.

The school opens with 100 children in year 7, based in a newly renovated building. Plans have also been submitted for the extension of the school onto an adjoining site in Kingsland Road, next to Currell’s office. These plans include new sports and music facilities. The planning hearing for the extension is due to take place on Monday 9 September.

The owners of the Battersea Power Station have decided to scrap plans for a new large scale events venue after neighbours complained.

A new building named ‘The Power House’ was set to replace the existing ‘Boiler Room’ venue which has played host to events including Elton John’s Grey Goose Ball.

The news comes after last week’s Holi One Colour Festival saw 15,000 visitors, causing noise and disruption to the local neighbourhood.

A spokesman for Battersea Power Station said: “Following a recent event held at the venue, which was hosted by a third party, it became clear that some of the high standards and levels of consideration we expect of our clients were not being upheld.”

Instead, the owners plan to host small bespoke events which will cause no disruption or inconvenience to the neighbourhood.

The spokesman continued: “By moving to smaller, bespoke events we are confident we can continue to find new and imaginative ways of bringing people into contact with the Power Station in a way with which our neighbours can feel comfortable and hopefully in which they can take part.”

Quotes from Wandsworth Guardian.

Sunday 18th August saw the Bethnal Green Big Band take to the stage at the Victoria Park Bandstand. Currell have been sponsoring the Bandstand this summer and the Bethnal Green Big Band was the latest impressive performance for Victoria Park locals.

The programme of music continues until the 8th September, so there is still plenty of time to catch one of the final four performances which will include the Barnet Band and the London Saxophone Choir.

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Criterion Capital has announced proposals for a makeover of Kingsland Shopping Centre in Dalston that would see the 1980’s block be transformed into 155,000 sq ft of retails space, 500 homes and 162,000 sq ft of public space.

 

Head of Criterion Capital is quoted in the Estates Gazette as saying, “We will create exceptional permanent green and open space as well as deliver new shops suitable for high-street names and local independent shops alike. We want this regeneration to be distinctly Dalston.”

 

The proposals have already met with fierce criticism from locals concerned about protecting the Esatern Curve garden which is on the site.

 

Plans are expected to be submitted in September.

The London Fields Playgroup are hosting the first annual Big Jumble Sale this Saturday, 13th July from 2pm to 4pm in the hall at St Michael and All Angels church, Hackney.

The Big Jumble Sale is to fundraise for the group and amongst the wares on offer will be children’s clothes, toys, books and general bric-a-brac.

To keep little ones entertained there is a play area, face painting and art in the garden. There will also be plenty of cakes and drinks to keep everyone refreshed in the hot weather!

London Fields Playgroup has been running for over 25 years and offers playtime, drinks and snacks and an opportunity for local mums to catch up. It runs every Friday during term time from 10am to 12pm and is held in the hall from St Michael and All Angels Church.

Staff from Currell have been taking their children and now their grandchildren to this Hackney group for many years, and we are very excited to be sponsoring their first fundraiser.

This will be a great local event where the whole family can get involved and help raise money for a good cause.

For more details on the event please click this link: http://londonfieldsplaygroup.wordpress.com/diary/the-big-jumble-sale/