After it was closed and boarded up ten years ago, the dis-used Tudor Park Pavilion is at last edging closer to the day when it could provide Barnet Vale with a much-needed amenity space and leisure facility.
A vision statement for the repair and renovation of the 101-year-old building -- and an artist’s impression of how it might look – have just been published ahead of a meeting with Barnet Council.
A £200,000 award from a community infra-structure levy has already been set aside by the council to pay for the refurbishment which could include a much-needed cafe.
Friends of Tudor Park Pavilion – a fifty plus strong group of residents – are anxious to get community support and agreement over the kind of facilities that should be provided.
The renewal of what is regarded as an important community asset is likely to cost more than the £200,000 award and the friends group is preparing to start fund raising to meet the extra costs.
Simon Cohen, who organised a residents’ survey on the pavilion’s re-use, is due to meet council officials early in 2022 and before then he is hoping to get a clear direction from the community as to how the pavilion should be redeveloped.
“It would be great to get the community’s feedback,” said Mr Cohen.
“We want to start 2022 with a strong voice and clear direction for the council so that we can continue moving this project forward.
“We have just had another four members join our friends’ group so we now have 53 – but we would like at least 100 to give a bit more weight to our efforts to guide Barnet Council in the right direction.”
The residents’ survey, which had 1025 response, showed that 83 per cent wanted a café to be opened in the refurbished pavilion; 41 per cent would like to see the installation of public toilets; and 39 per cent favoured the creation inside of a new community space.
A suggested layout of the renovation proposes that the interior of the pavilion could be restored as a flexible central space for community activities, classes such as yoga, Pilates and art, playgroups, exhibition, and meeting rooms for local clubs and organisations.
Perhaps the best place to open a café would be on the side of the pavilion that overlooks the existing children’s playground.
Other improvements could include not only new toilets, but also a completely new kitchen to cater for events and functions.
A structural survey of the pavilion shows that it is currently in what is described as “terrible” unsafe condition and in desperate need of re-plumbing and re-wiring.
Mr Cohen, who is a Barnet Society committee member, outlined future plans for the pavilion at the society’s annual meeting and there was a warm welcome during an online discussion.
One possibility is to develop a business plan that would allow the pavilion to be leased to a third party which could then provide a café and additional facilities.
“We hope the regeneration of the pavilion will be part of masterplan for improving amenities and the quality of the Tudor Park open space.”
Originally the pavilion, built in neo-Georgian style, served the sports ground opened by the former New Barnet medical supplies manufacturer S Maw & Sons and it bears the logo of S Maw along with the date 1920.
Early in 2020 it was included in Barnet Council’s local heritage list as being of historical and architectural interest because of social and community value, age and rarity, and landmark qualities.
In the late 1930s, the sports ground was sold to the council, and it became a public park.
Two children’s playgrounds in Tudor Park are extremely popular with local parents – and demand for local play areas will increase on completion of the proposed Victoria Quarter development on the nearby former gas works site.