Revitalising Camden Town Hall

Frequently asked questions

1. Are you privatising the town hall?

2. Why are you doing this in such difficult financial times?

3. Why aren’t you offering the office space to voluntary organisations?

4. What is the incubator space?

5. What will happen to the humanitarian assistance centre if the Camden Centre closes?

6. Where will I be able to get married?

7. Where will Births, Deaths and other Registrars services move?

8. Will the Mayor’s Parlour be moved?

9. What about the Camden Centre?

1. Are you privatising the town hall?

No. We are changing the way some parts of the town hall are used and refurbishing others. The office areas which will be converted to leased offices are on levels of the town hall that the public does not use or see. The Council will remain the owner of the Town Hall.

2. Why are you doing this in such difficult financial times?

This is a costed plan to renovate the ageing, listed civic town hall, whilst creating space for business aimed at tech and life sciences companies, which will help pay for the works. Our plans are good for the both local communities and businesses, will preserve our history and continue the remarkable transformation of King's Cross.

3. Why aren’t you offering the office space to voluntary organisations?

We face a tough financial challenge as our funding from central government continues to shrink. By 2018/19 our funding from central government will have been more than halved, so we need to find new ways of doing business. By leasing out office space for commercial rent, the town hall refurbishment will produce income to help pay for the much needed capital investment. Voluntary sector occupation was considered as an option (Cabinet reports February and September 2016) but this does not produce sufficient income to support the capital investment required and would leave most of the cost of the work to be met by the Council.

We house many voluntary organisations in council-owned buildings, and charge community organisation rates, which are cheaper than commercial business rates. We also contribute to their rates through Grant Aid.

4. What is the incubator space?

The incubator space will be in the basement of the town hall, in an area not currently accessible to the public. It will house start-ups in a creative and entrepreneurial environment, cultivating innovation and business development in Camden.

5. What will happen to the humanitarian assistance centre if the Camden Centre closes?

Camden Council has a number of pre-identified community facilities, including Talacre Sports Centre, which can serve as a rest centre for a number of different emergency scenarios.

6. Where will I be able to get married?

We have two brand new ceremony suites at Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JB. Both are available to book for weddings and civil partnerships. 

camden.gov.uk/tavistockhouse
• Email: tietheknot@camden.gov.uk

7. Where will Births, Deaths and other Registrars services move?

All services provided by the Registrars apart from weddings/civil partnerships are now located at the Crowndale Centre, 218 Eversholt St, Kings Cross, NW1 1BD. 

8. Will the Mayor’s Parlour be moved?

Yes. The Mayor’s Parlour has now moved to the Crowndale Centre while the town hall undergoes refurbishment. 

9. What about the Camden Centre?

The Camden Centre closed in May 2018 and the events team are working with community users to relocate their events where possible or deliver them by other means. 

As part of the town hall refurbishment, the Camden Centre is to be leased to a commercial operator. We are having to change the way we do things in order to generate much needed income, set against the context of the difficult financial climate the council now operates in.

The proposed tenant is II Bottaccio (IB), an international event production, catering and entertainment company with its headquarters in London. IB run a number of central London venues from which they host events that range from large-scale corporate events to birthday parties and weddings.

IB are a very well regarded company that will bring a wide range of events to Camden as well as providing an income stream that will go towards supporting council services. The company will provide the local community with access use to the venue 20 days a year so our community groups, including maintained schools, can continue to use the space for local events, as well as offering discounted rates for charitable hire. IB are also employing a Community Liaison Representative who will be responsible for liaising with our community groups.

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