Search

Plans by Tower Hamlets Council to turn historic Raine’s House in Wapping into ‘hub for hire’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:08 30 January 2018

Raine's House in Wapping, built 1719 as a school for poor children. Picture source: Google

Raine's House in Wapping, built 1719 as a school for poor children. Picture source: Google

Google

Public consultations are held today by Tower Hamlets Council to convert an historic early-Georgian building in London’s East End into the borough’s second ‘community hub’ for hire.

Get-together at Raine's House for the people of Wapping... their only social centre in the district. Picture source: Raine's HouseGet-together at Raine's House for the people of Wapping... their only social centre in the district. Picture source: Raine's House

The local authority wants to convert the 300-year-old Grade II-listed Raine’s House into a ‘hub’ where residents and neighbourhood groups can rent a small room for £30-an-hour, plus £40-an-hour to use the kitchen.

Registered charities get it for £25, while the commercial rate is £60.

Letters have been sent out by the town hall’s project manager Wendy Harrington inviting residents to the consultation held at the two-story building in Raine Street, off Wapping Lane—currently used as the Wapping community centre.

The proposal is to refurbish the building to “safeguard its historic fabric”. The council has already appointed an architect, even before today’s consultation which starts at 1pm.

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs cuts ribbon to open East End's first 'community hub' in Seprtermber 2017. Picture source: LBTHTower Hamlets mayor John Biggs cuts ribbon to open East End's first 'community hub' in Seprtermber 2017. Picture source: LBTH

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs cut the ribbon on the first community ‘hub’ in September just a mile away at Shadwell’s Chrisp Street, off the Commercial Road, with its multi-purpose spaces, meeting room, kitchen, free Wi-Fi and multimedia equipment.

The “versatile, bookable spaces” mean council-owned buildings which are being turned into neighbourhood ‘hubs’ can be used by more than one group at a time—but they’d have to share the kitchen.

Other ‘hubs’ are planned in Wapping, Bromley-by-Bow, Limehouse and two in Bethnal Green, following a survey in November which found 74 buildings only being used for a third of the available hours. Some buildings had no formal agreements and had inconsistent charges.

“There was a hotch-botch of agreements and terms of occupation,” a council spokesman explained. “Some groups were paying rent while others were paying nothing.”

Historic early Georgian Raine's House that Tower Hamlets Council wants to turn into a 'community hub for rent'. Picture source: GoogleHistoric early Georgian Raine's House that Tower Hamlets Council wants to turn into a 'community hub for rent'. Picture source: Google

Now they are all to be charged the same, even though small neighbourhood gatherings had been allowed to use publicly-owned buildings like Raine’s House without fees. The council claims the new charges would be “just enough to meet upkeep”.

Raine’s House was built in 1719 as a charity school by Henry Raine, who had made a fortune selling alcohol. He felt as a devout Christian that he should be philanthropic and open a school where poor children could get a free education.

The building in recent years has been used as a community centre and as offices of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The original school, now called Raine’s Foundation, moved to Spitalfields, then to its present location at Approach Road in Bethnal Green. It marks its 300th anniversary, like Raine’s House itself, in 2019.

Latest East London News Stories

07:00

Tower Hamlets builds more homes each year than anywhere else in England — but it is failing to keep up with the pace of demand, a new analysis shows.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Two suspected phone snatchers have been arrested following a police chase through east and south London which ended when their moped crashed with a van.

Friday, August 17, 2018

A large drug dealing gang who peddled their wares on the streets of Tower Hamlets are due to be sentenced today.

Friday, August 17, 2018

A drug-smuggling gun runner who stored cannabis and equipment used to prep cocaine in a house in Poplar has been jailed for 17-and-a-half years.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

All the students taking A-levels at Whitechapel’s Swanlea Secondary have passed.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Two directors of a convenience store in Bethnal Green where one of the largest haul of illegal alcohol was seized in the borough have been banned from running their own companies.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A man has been rushed to hospital after he was hit by a car in Mile End today.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now