We meet Piers Read, a Crouch Ender but also Managing Director of The TIME + SPACE Co. – the operator behind the Hornsey Town Arts Centre project and Twickenham Film Studios.
For the full interview where he discusses his previous projects and plans for Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, visit The TIME + SPACE Co. website.
As a long time Crouch Ender, how proud are you to be part of the brave creative renovation and restoration of the Hornsey Town Hall which you are leading via the HTH Arts Centre with FEC? How important do you see this space being for the community?
The local people have waited patiently for a very long time for a solution to the Hornsey Town Hall. We carry that pressure every single day which is a great motivation for myself and the Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre team. As a local resident myself and entrepreneur, no project could mean more to me than seeing Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre project come to fruition, fulfilling its important creative and community potential.
I first discovered the Town Hall in 2002 when scouting a location for the title sequence of Peep Show that we ended up shooting on the town hall square where Powerhouse TV used to be. Little did I know Crouch End was to become home. Myself and my family have lived in Crouch End for over 14 years. Like many people living locally we love the area, how it has evolved and feel privileged to now be shaping its future via The TIME + SPACE Co.’s operation of the Arts Centre.
The Town Hall is located at the epicentre of Crouch End, its architecture has such grace and presence. It survived the bombing of London during World War II unscathed through over 80 years of wear and tear. So, we are excited to be part of the team ensuring its iconic art deco features are meticulously restored to their original condition.
Bizarrely, I think the fact it sat mostly idle for generations since closing in 1963 somehow helped to preserve the building in parts. Besides, some fantastic events and community activities happened before The TIME + SPACE Co. got appointed as the operator of the arts centre.
We continue to work hard with FEC to ensure the quality restoration and preservation of the space matches the quality and expectations people expect from a modern day Arts Centre and performance venue in London. That is the pressure point for us in this particular project.
Hornsey Town Hall stands to become a major arts and cultural destination – not only in London but from further afield. It has and always will attract artists and performers of international recognition, be it for events or performance. This much loved building has a rich heritage of cultural activities including Queen performing Bohemian Rhapsody, The Kinks playing with The Rolling Stones in the Supper Room. More recently, Kate Bush performed and Mark Hammell teamed up with Ray Davies to perform in a Charity gig. So the stage is quite literally set!
The Town Hall is unique because it houses a multitude of performance and event spaces under the roof of one venue. Our artistic programming will ensure the arts centre becomes home to all the arts – a true mix of live music, theatre, visual arts, dance, experiential, comedy, poetry and beyond, in collaboration with the local Crouch End community. The icing on the cake will be providing high quality hospitality offerings alongside the workspaces to ensure the creatives working on site have the essential creature comforts on site and on tap. This is key to the overall curation of the project.
Central to our strategy is ultimately how the Arts Centre talks to the needs and the demands of the local community and businesses. The impact of the Arts Centre should be massive. It can become a central meeting point for the community at large, a place where people can meet, work, relax or socialise. We hope they feel they are part of something that stands to be very special indeed.
When will we get sight of the HTHAC programming?
We are working towards making an announcement soon!
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