Remember the great Heatham House debate of early 2012 when El Brute (aka LBRuT) asked ‘da kids’ to vote on the future of the centre? At the time the Council were hoping that the youth would opt to ditch HH in favour of a new purpose built, ‘state of the art’ centre which would (probably) have been on somewhere on the Twickenham sorting office site. Despite the Council consultation being worded in a way to strongly suggest that staying in that old building would not be the best option, the voting went in favour of staying put. Cue much discussion about the narrowness of victories, lobbying, etc but, as we know, the Council loves a good ol’ consultation and so it stuck with the majority view. There was even a ‘sour grapes’ press release to confirm that the youth centre would stay where it is.
Two years on and things look a little brighter. El Brute has just announced that it will spend £500,000 on Heatham House to improve facilities there, including tackling the Disability Discrimination Act compliance issues associated with the building. The Council’s website says that the work will include: redesigning the stage to create more floor space; proving a purpose built fitness suite; a new extension which will house an office, reception and social area; new showers and disabled toilet facilities; other equipment and soundproofing upgrades.
Heatham House remains a popular facility with young people in the area and now, with all this money being spent upgrading the building, it looks as if the boutique hotel suggested for the site will just have to wait a little longer.