September 23 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Two disused Manor Park buildings are being transformed to serve new purposes.
The former Greenhill day centre centre is being temporarily converted into a budget gym, and the former Manor Park library is to become an arts centre.
Newham Council has confirmed that it is working with activeNewham to convert Greenhill day centre into a “high quality, affordable, indoor fitness centre”.
A spokeswoman said the conversion would ensure the building is being used while longer term options are considered.
The centre has been closed since 2011 due to council cuts, despite a protest campaign from relatives and users of the facilities.
The new arts centre will provide opportunities for residents to get involved with community sessions delivered by experienced artists.
A spokeswoman for the council said its vision was to provide “low cost studio and workspace for local artists and entrepeneurs”.
The old Manor Park library has laid unused since the library was transferred to a new building in Romford Road last year.
The new uses have got Recorder readers talking on social media, with Geoffrey Peters writing on Facebook that he “might’ve used the budget gym” if he wasn’t moving away.
Alex Flubberlovavich, also on Facebook, said that he would be pleased to see the old library re-open as an arts centre.
“It’s too beautiful a library for it not to be publicly accessible,” he said. “[I] hope the art and events there are publicised to the local area.”
On Streetlife, Linda B said she hoped that the new library’s occupants will “do it justice”.
“I think an arts centre is a good idea,” she added. “Maybe it will bring a bit of class back to the area.”