An update from Hackney Council and Sistah Space

Following independent mediation, Hackney Council and Sistah Space are pleased to announce that they have agreed to enter into a new temporary licence of two rooms at 280 Mare Street which will start on 9 October 2020 and end on 17 January 2021. The arrangement will continue to be at no cost to Sistah Space who will be able to continue its services in the premises.

Sistah Space have agreed to leave 280 Mare Street by 17 January 2021, and understands that they will need to remove all of their belongings by this date. The Council has agreed to cover Sistah Space’s removal costs, up to a predefined cap, and will do so at the end of this period.

Sistah Space have accepted that the Council is unable to guarantee further temporary or permanent accommodation beyond this date and they have commenced their search for a more permanent venue that is safe for the women it serves. Sistah Space understand that they will be free to take part in any competitive process for Council buildings as they become available, alongside other voluntary and charitable organisations. Sistah Space alsounderstand that the Council will continue with its plans to market and ultimately let 280 Mare Street.

Sistah Space were previously letting a space in Clapton from the Council under a voluntary sector lease and were temporarily relocated to 280 Mare Street whilst refurbishment works were carried out to the Clapton premises. Sistah Space procured three risk assessments of the Clapton premises in September 2020 and have made it clear to the Council that, in their view, the Clapton premises are not suitable or safe for their type of work and nor could they be made suitable or safe enough by further works being undertaken. Sistah Space do not wish to return to the Clapton offices as a result of their safety concerns and understands that these will, therefore, be marketed to other voluntary sector tenants in the usual way.

Both parties have agreed to move on from this regrettable dispute in relation to Sistah Space's use of rooms at 280 Mare Street and agree to make no further public comments about the dispute beyond this statement. Hackney Council and Sistah Space look forward to working together in the months and years to come.

Sistah Space (recipients of the Mayor’s Civic Award) are pleased to be able to refocus their time and resources on providing specialist support to victims of domestic abuse in the African and Caribbean heritage communities during this unprecedented time.