Here are some common questions we get asked about the redevelopment of our site. If your query is not answered below, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our Head of Development, Rosie Spiegelhalter, who will be happy to talk through our plans and vision for the future: Rosie.Spiegelhalter@toynbeehall.org.uk.
Q. When will the site be open again?
The historic Toynbee Hall buildings will be open to the public from late September 2018. Our new Centres for Advice and Wellbeing will be open in spring 2019, and the entire site – including the redeveloped Mallon Gardens – in early 2020.
Q. What new facilities will the site include?
The redevelopment will include a new building that will host our Centres for Advice and Wellbeing. The new Centres will include bespoke facilities that will allow us to support around 6,000 more people each year. Our historic halls will be restored and redeveloped to better share our history with visitors, including a permanent heritage exhibiton, Toynbee Hall: A Community Powerhouse.
Q. Why did we undertake the redevelopment project?
Plans to regenerate the Toynbee Hall estate began in 2013, when the Grade II listed Toynbee Hall itself had fallen into a state of disrepair and was at risk of being lost in the long-term without major restoration work. More broadly, it was also recognised at this point that the rest of the estate was no longer fit to serve our community in the way it was originally intended. We could not meet rising demand for our services, or realise our vision for the future based on the present needs of the communities we serve. In this context, we hope that at completion we will be able to expand our services from supporting 14,000 people to around 20,000 per year.
Q. How is the project funded?
The redevelopment will cost £17m in total. The project was largely made possible by a £10m lease of part of our estate to the property developer London Square, who are using it to build 74 units of housing. In addition to this, our Development team has fundraised £3.5m through an ongoing capital appeal which was kick-started in 2014 by a generous grant of £1.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. We also intend to borrow around £2.5m to meet the shortfall.
Q. Which buildings have been demolished and what will replace them?
The redevelopment involves the demolition of three buildings: Attlee House, Profumo House (formerly known as the Gatehouse), and Sunley House. Attlee House will be replaced by housing and a modern extension to the historic halls, which will feature a meeting room and accommodation for our Residential Voluntary Workers. A new building housing our Centres for Advice and Wellbeing and four floors of rentable office spaces will stand on the site of Profumo House. The site on which Sunley House stood is being leased to the developer London Square and will be used to build 74 units of housing, 14 of which will be social housing or affordable by government definition (up to 80% of market value).
Q. How will the important historical figures associated with Toynbee Hall be commemorated in the new estate?
Our new permanent exhibition, Toynbee Hall: A Community Powerhouse, remembers and celebrates all of the major figures in our history and the significant work that they did to make Toynbee Hall a success. We have yet to decide what we will name the estate’s new spaces and buildings and are open to considering naming them after some of these figures if appropriate.
Q. What other organisations will you share the estate with?
The estate will be shared with Artsadmin, who have run the arts venue and rehearsal space Toynbee Studios on the site since 1995, and London Square, who are building a new 74-unit housing development on the estate.