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Islington Council leads new £1.6m We Are Cally project to unlock potential of the area

Islington Council is leading a £1.6million project to create new opportunities, improve local facilities and unlock the potential in the Cally area for thousands of residents – starting with conversations on improvements to a community centre and West Library.

Called We Are Cally, the project aims to shape a brighter, fairer future for the Cally and its residents, by offering better opportunities for children, young people and families, improving health and wellbeing, creating a resilient community with a strong sense of belonging and a thriving local economy, and making attractive, well-used public spaces.

The council is investing £1.25million in the We Are Cally improvement programme, and has secured an additional £350,000 grant from the Greater London Assembly’s Good Growth Fund.

To launch We Are Cally, the council this week opens a public consultation on plans to improve the Jean Stokes Community Centre to make it a brighter, more accessible and flexible space for everyone to enjoy. The vision for the future centre will be co-produced with existing user groups and residents.

There are a number of opportunities to improve the centre and its offer to residents, including turning it into a hub for community and volunteer organisations, and somewhere to find out about all the great projects going on in the Cally.

The consultation is a chance for residents who live in the area, and anyone who uses the centre, to have their say on the improvements they would like to see there, and any concerns they may have.

At West Library, adaptations will be made to make the building more accessible. It’s envisaged the first-floor hall, which is currently empty, could become a space for young people, with a focus on developing employability skills, supported by the council’s youth employment team.

Cllr Una O’Halloran, the council’s executive member for community development, said: “There is so much potential to build on the great work already taking place in the Cally, and I’m really excited by the possibilities that the We Are Cally programme could create – including these fantastic new spaces that everyone can really make the most of.

“I’m pleased to see it kick off with conversations with residents on our plans to make the Jean Stokes Community Centre and West Library really work for the community. It’s an opportunity to continue conversations and work with people to create better outcomes in the Cally.”

Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, said: “I am delighted that City Hall is supporting this great project in the heart of Islington, which will transform the Cally area into a thriving community hub for local residents, groups and visitors for many years to come.”

Future aims of the We Are Cally project include making improvements to Bingfield Park in co-operation with Islington Play Association, Awesome and the Copenhagen Youth Project, creating a Caledonian Road Trader’s Association to support local businesses, providing more affordable workspaces for small businesses, providing local jobs for local people, and introducing more people-friendly streets to improve air quality and make it easier for people to get around by walking and cycling. Residents are encouraged to find out more – and sign up for an e-newsletter providing updates on the project – at www.islington.gov.uk/wearecally

  • The next online workshop to discuss the future of the Jean Stokes Community Centre will take place on Monday, 14 December, 6pm-7pm and everyone is welcome. For more information on the project and to find out about future events, see Islington.gov.uk/jeanstokes
  • The first online workshop to discuss plans for West Library will take place on Monday, 14 December, 7.30pm-8.30pm and everyone is welcome. For more information on the project and to find out about future events, see Islington.gov.uk/westlibrary


Notes to editor

Works to the Jean Stokes Community Centre will cause some disruption for residents living immediately above it vicinity, but the council will listen carefully to residents’ concerns and ensure it is kept to a minimum.

Further We Are Cally public conversations will take place on 11 January.

Physical copies of the latest proposals are available from the Jean Stokes Community Centre, where written feedback can also be dropped off.

Media contact information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Contact Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000