Hackney Council statement: Update on 136-138 Kingsland High Street

Hackney Council has taken back the building at 136-138 Kingsland High Street. This was after Centerprise failed to comply with a Court Order requiring them to give up possession of that building by 23 October 2012. The Council has no intention of selling the building and it is committed to ensuring that it is used by a voluntary or community group to provide services to the people of Hackney.

For many months Hackney Council committed to working with Centerprise to resolve this situation, but unfortunately despite our best efforts the Council was left with no other course of action.

The Council has a subsidised rent rate of £4 per square foot for eligible charities and community groups. Centerprise had been given several opportunities to demonstrate that it meets the Council’s criteria for obtaining a subsidised rent and is a well managed, transparent organisation capable of paying the subsidised rent. Despite the Council’s sustained efforts to assist Centerprise have not been able to show this and are therefore not eligible to receive the discounted rent.

Centerprise did not have a current lease and had been paying a rent of £520 per year for the use of this building. That’s just 8p per square foot and significantly less than the subsidised rent rate of £4 per square foot. The Council has a responsibility to ensure that the tax payers of Hackney receive a fair rent for its buildings including 136-138 Kingsland High Street and given the great demand for buildings by the voluntary sector, that each group is treated equally.