White House community centre to partially reopen whilst hunt for new provider continues

Release Date: 03 September 2020

Richmond Council has stepped in to partially reopen the White House in Hampton following the announcement that Hampton upon Thames Community Association (HoTCA) are financially unable to manage this valued local resource.

Over the past few months, the Council has been working with HoTCA to understand their financial situation and seek to provide support where possible. This included emergency monthly funding. However, following the closure of the centre due to lockdown, HoTCA have finally decided to surrender their lease to the Council.

The Council is now working with stakeholders, including the Hampton Fund, to identify a new partner to help run the centre.

Cllr Michael Wilson, Lead Member for Communities and the Voluntary Sector for Richmond Council, said:

"The Council now is focusing its efforts on identifying a new partner to run the centre. In the meantime, the centre will reopen to provide a number of local services. This includes the pre-school, foodbank, Citizens Advice services and Off The Record counselling for children and young people.

"Many will be disappointed that more services won’t be available immediately, including venue and room hire, but the Council is hopeful that when a new partner is found, they will be able to help create a thriving facility which benefits the wider community.

"Whilst working to help save the community facility we were disappointed with some of the misinformation spread in the community over the past few months. However, we are pleased that while we continue with our search for a new partner, we are able to reopen the centre, albeit it in a limited capacity in the short-term.

“We know how much the White House is valued by the communities it serves in the local and surrounding areas and by the Council. We want to ensure that the Centre continues to play such an important role. We are committed to finding a partner that can help achieve that vision and I am hopeful that this will happen quickly.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P350/20

Updated: 30 September 2020