For a future without poverty
Tel: 020 7392 2953
Regeneration latest news
Regeneration latest news
This month we have reached another significant milestone as the demolition work on Profumo House begun. The works commenced on the 24th July, and are due to be completed in September. This will be followed by piling and a crane will be installed as the new built begins.
The Profumo House building block, which sits at 28 Commercial Street, replaced the original 1884 development which was destroyed by bombing during World War II. ‘The Gatehouse’ as it was previously known was rebuilt in 1965, with help with the International Volunteers Services digging out the basement and Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, turning the first sod. It was officially opened in March 1967 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey.
Since then it has housed the Warden’s flat and office, accommodation for Toynbee Hall’s dedicated Residential Volunteers, and on the ground floor The Citizen’s Advice Bureau and, most recently, our Free Legal Advice Centre until our services relocated to our temporary home on Old Castle Street in 2015.
It was known as The Gatehouse until 2006, when the building was renamed in honour of John Profumo, who passed away in March 2006. John was a long-term volunteer and President of Toynbee Hall who dedicated 40 years of his life to our work and to the people of the East End.
The rebuilding of The Gatehouse was conceived at the time as, 'the first building in a substantial redevelopment of Toynbee Hall' by then Warden, Walter Birmingham. It is incredibly appropriate that 50 years on, this symbolic building is transforming as we undergo another substantial redevelopment to ensure Toynbee Hall continues to modernise and meet the future needs of our local community.
Work is progressing on our Grade II listed historic building, which will be opening its door to the public in autumn this year complete with refurbished halls, study rooms and learning spaces, and a full heritage experience showcasing our landmark history.
The space for the new Heritage Entrance, which will lead into our flagship exhibition space, has begun to be created in the facade of the historic building. Structural works to the space that will become the base for our project staff is nearly complete, waiting only on some reinforcement to the Victorian building.
Profumo House has been made ready for demolition in early April to make way for our new Centres for Advice and Wellbeing, as well as commercial office space that will allow for a continuous flow of income to allow us to pilot new projects in collaboration with our service users.
The 1930s murals created by Jewish artist Archibald Ziegler, discovered behind the panels in the Lecture Hall, are waiting to be taken safely off site for storage.
Recently, individuals and organisations have been giving generously towards the project. We would like to thank Viridor Credits Environmental Company and Lord Henry Hood, who have awarded us funding towards the Heritage Spine, a fully restored public space to showcase our landmark stories of reform and social action in order to inspire those facing similar hardships today.
We would also like to thank The Headley Trust who have supported the redevelopment project, and The London Marathon Charitable Trust who gave specifically to the Centre for Wellbeing. This facility will cater to the varied needs of older people and enable them maintain their health, stamina and independence.
The announcement of this grant was featured on London Live News. See the video below for more about how the grant will help older people in the community.
We are thrilled to have gained this support for this ambitious yet essential project, but we still have just over £300,000 to raise to make this vision a reality. If you would like to support us, find out how you can become a part of our future and help us build a future without poverty.