Lottery Money Boosts Alexandra Palace Regeneration

While the Southbank Centre and V&A missed out on the latest round of lottery-funded munificence, Alexandra Palace has secured more than £16.8m towards its proposed £24m revamp.

The Terry Farrell-designed brief, images of which can be seen in the gallery above, is ambitious. It proposes to construct a hotel in the building, restore the old theatre into an event space and install shops and cafes in the terrace. The architect also wants to spruce up the entrances to the palace. There’s a comprehensive guide on the Alexandra Palace website which gives additional information on how things may develop.

An initial £800k of the Lottery money will fund further, more detailed plans, with the remaining money released toward the end of the year. Planners are eyeing a competition date of 2017.

This isn’t the first attempt to revitalise the dilapidated Grade II-listed building, which first opened in 1875 as a north London rival to the Crystal Palace. This article from the Independent in 1994 tells the story of Ally Pally’s blighted history and various rescue attempts. It’s a strange tale, one that takes in a mysterious American benefactor, several fires and a gypsy curse. Hopefully the new plan won’t be quite so surreal.

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  • rob22t

    the place needs better transport links!

    • http://londonist.com/ Dean Nicholas

      True, although short of re-opening the railway line from Finsbury Park there’s not a great deal they can realistically do.

      • http://londonist.com/ Lindsey Clarke

        Cable car from Wood Green should do it.

        • MattFromLondonist

          Or down to Crouch End, which is similarly bad for non-bus transport options.

  • lee

    We were there at the weekend for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Great venue. I wonder if these regeneration plans would put an end to that. Good luck to them though.

    • http://londonist.com/ Dean Nicholas

      Probably not. From the Ally Pally website:

      In recent years, Alexandra Palace’s reputation and success as a venue
      for live events has grown significantly, attracting artists such as
      Jay-Z, Jack White and Florence and The Machine and key sporting events
      such as the Masters Snooker and World Championship Darts.

      In order to capitalise on the growth of live events, we are looking
      to upgrade the main halls (Great Hall and West Hall) and modernise
      backstage areas to improve services for organisers and provide an even
      better experience for visitors.

      • lee

        ah good news!