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Brixton residents bet on a brighter future

Residents living on the Blenheim Gardens estate in Brixton Hill are set to enjoy a quieter and improved quality of life following the permanent closure of a local betting shop. Located on the estate for some 27 years, the shop had become a focal point for attracting crime and anti-social behaviour on the estate over recent years.

After speaking with local people and following a long consultation period, Lambeth Council agreed not to renew the lease on the venue, offering the building instead to the estate’s management board – Blenheim Gardens Residents Management Organisation – to manage.

The Blenheim Gardens RMO plan to turn the venue into a much needed and fully accessible community centre for estate residents – providing educational, employment, and vocational training opportunities.

Councillor Lib Peck, Lambeth Council cabinet member for housing and regeneration said: “This council is committed to providing safe and secure housing and a decent environment for communities to bring up their children and young people.

“This betting shop had become the complete opposite of that, and having listened to local people, we have supported their wish to close it down – permanently. A new community centre to be developed on the site, will contribute to improving the life and experiences of local people”.

The RMO’s bid to take over this venue was motivated by the fact that it had become a magnet for anti social behaviour. This action was whole heartedly supported by Lambeth Council and the local Safer Neighbourhood Police team in the area.

Blenheim Gardens RMO has been awarded an additional £3000 funding from the Brixton Hill local community action fund, to help with the refurbishment costs. Work has already begun to transform the old betting shop into a community centre and is expected to be completed by early summer.

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