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‘Thanks for coming round, Jeremy!’

Labour leader Corbyn visits Roundhouse centre to help celebrate work on its £2m revamp

22 December, 2017 — By Helen Chapman

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting those involved in the development of the Roundhouse

JEREMY Corbyn got his hard-hat out as he joined staff and trustees at a community centre that’s in the middle of a major revamp.

The Islington North MP and Labour Party leader was at the Highbury Roundhouse on Friday to celebrate the raising of £2million towards a brand-new building. It opened as a youth centre in 1974 and over the years has evolved to include services for all ages, from play schemes to pensioners’ clubs.

It has been backed by the Big Lottery Fund, Islington Council and more than £40,000 from community donations.

Mr Corbyn said: “It’s a great achievement, showing how small things can lead to big things. This wouldn’t have happened without the hard work and dedication of its people. I’m looking forward to seeing the opening of the new building next year and I am happy to continue to support the Highbury Roundhouse.”

Andrew Barthier, the centre’s director, said: “To be leader of the opposition and still find time to come to see people like us is great. He’s very helpful. We are so excited about where we are, so we ­wanted to share that with Jeremy and the local community.”

In 2010 it was discovered that the Roundhouse had structural problems which got so bad that staff had to vacate the Ronald’s Road building.

Since 2012 work has been taking place on a new scheme that is expected to be completed by spring next year. It aims to bring all of the Roundhouse facilities back under one roof.

Staff said they had raised enough money to complete the building but still need to raise funds to pay for the fixtures and fittings.

Savanah Popal, head of services at the Roundhouse, said: “We really are all about empowering people.

“Our users face many challenges in life, including loneliness, which we help combat by providing social contact from the very young to the elderly with a range of activities.”

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