Newham

Review of Upton Centre complete

23 February 2015 in Finance and Sport and leisure
Independent surveyors have completed their review of the Upton Centre following its unexpected closure in December.
The centre was closed after engineers advised that the boilers were no longer compliant and the heating system could not be used. The surveyors have identified a significant amount of additional work needed to bring the centre back into use for the medium and long term.

To bring the centre back into use for up to five years, it would need to be completely rewired and the heating system would have to be upgraded. The roof requires repairs and essential maintenance to building masonry would also be required. The survey has also found that the car park requires significant repair work. The cost of this work is estimated by the surveyors to be £2.9m.

Longer term works, would include the work set out above as well as the replacement of windows and doors, the relocation of a complete new boiler system and making the internal fixtures and fittings compliant with equalities legislation, is estimated by the surveyors to cost £5.2m.

The cost of running the centre for 2013/14 was £132,213. This included; £47,831 on utilities (electricity, gas, oil and water); £29,116 in business rates; £7,266 for insurance; and £48,000 for staffing costs.

The scale of the work required, means that Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and the Cabinet will now need to consider the best course of action for the Upton Centre. This is likely to take place at a meeting of the Cabinet in March. The centre will not open again to the public unless the Cabinet decides this work should be undertaken, and when that work would be completed.

In the mean time the centre will be boarded and secured by the council to protect the building and its contents, the majority of which belong to the community groups.

For the last two months, officers have been working extensively with the 17 groups that used the centre to find suitable accommodation for the short-term, currently 12 are operating out of alternative locations. Newham Council will continue to work with the groups to find a sustainable, longer-term solution.