The St James Street Library building will soon be reopening as The Mill! So come to Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow, on Saturday.
Sorry about the short notice. It’s been a rollercoaster ride since we announced that Waltham Forest council was allowing us to return the former library to community use.
Our original partners had to drop out, for reasons beyond their control. They had been going to sign a lease for the building and allow us to use part of it. Faced with losing our chance, we took a deep breath and jumped in.
Now we’ve persuaded the council to let us rent the building ourselves, on a 15-year lease. We’ve given it a new name – The Mill — to reflect the activity that this community hub will bring to Coppermill Lane.
We picked up the keys this week and, though the building’s not ready for use, we couldn’t wait to fling the doors open. After all the paperwork and negotiations, we’re entering the new phase we’ve all been waiting for.
So come to The Mill this Saturday 16 April, from 11.30 to 1.30.
We’ll be taking photos at noon and you’re welcome to do the same.
Bring your ideas. Tell us what you want to do in the Mill. What are your skills for helping maintain the building? Your interests, for running groups and activities? Your expertise, for sharing or teaching?
If you miss this spur-of-the-moment celebration, don’t worry – there will be an official launch when the building is ready for use again.
Big thanks to all our helpers. And thanks to the council too, for dropping its plans to auction the building and giving us this chance.
We were up against more than 600 other groups but our plans were chosen for one of 17 NESTA Neighbourhood Challenge grants. So we’ve now got £150,000 to set up a community hub and run it for the first year.
The money is allocated for specific uses; unfortunately not for refurbishment, and the building has deteriorated in the year since we last saw inside. But we’ve come this far, so we’ll be fund-raising like mad and everyone’s welcome to help with redecorating!
Looking forward to seeing you there.
PS: Here are some pictures of inside the building and some of the work that needs done. If you can help out in any way with time, skills or know someone who might be able to help us get the building ready for community use please get in touch.