In 2007 the High Court ruled in favour of the ‘Save Ally Pally’ campaign group who challenged the Charity Commission’s process for granting a 125 lease of Alexandra Palace to a private company. This followed a succession of set-backs and years of underinvestment in the building and its infrastructure. With this backdrop, we were commissioned by Haringey Council, as the sole corporate trustee, to prepare a new vision for Alexandra Palace and a route map for its restoration to put it on a solid financial footing.
The judicial review highlighted critical failings in the approach to community engagement. Our approach put community and stakeholders at the fore of the process, ensuring the new vision and development proposals were fully informed and supported by them.
Through the comprehensive options appraisal we initiated, it quickly became apparent that the Palace was experiencing a renaissance as a live entertainment venue, hosting major concerts, as well as live sport and exhibitions. This led to the regeneration strategy and business case being anchored by live entertainment and serviced by a cluster of new hospitality, leisure and cultural attractions.
During our involvement, we consulted with than 50 individual stakeholders, ran numerous workshops and a public exhibition that attracted over 1,600 responses with overwhelming support.
The vision, strategy and business plan resulting from our involvement united the key partners and crucially the community, for the first time in decades. With this positive momentum, the council and its partners went on to secure a £19m lottery fund grant for the restoration of the theatre and east court.