Ongoing demolition at Fairfield Halls stepped up a gear this week as works have now started to remove the side wall and roof of the Arnhem Gallery as part of Croydon Council’s £30 million refurbishment project.
The venue will reopen in almost exactly a year, and one of the biggest changes will be the remodelled Arnhem Gallery, which is gaining a second floor to provide extra performance spaces along with a new rooftop terrace bar and event space. Plans are already being made for Fairfield Halls’ first year back in action – and it is centre stage in the council’s 2019 London Borough of Culture bid.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The timing of Fairfield’s completion makes us an incredibly strong contender for the London Borough of Culture title as the aim of the award is to help places put themselves on the cultural map. With the transformation Croydon is already looking forward to, the Mayor’s support would make a huge difference. More than £1m of investment in events and exhibitions comes with the title and with that, and the support of our many partners, we’ll be able to stage some amazing shows for everyone to enjoy.”
The council’s bid for the Borough of Culture title was submitted at the start of December and a decision is due at the end of February. People can show their support for Croydon’s application by voting online at www.croydon2019.london or posting messages on social media using the hashtag #Croydon2019.
Other major work that has been going on recently at Fairfield Halls includes the removal of the concrete arch which used to link the college and the multi-storey car park. The rear section of College Green has also been removed to expose the former underground section of the car park.