Posted on April 26, 2022
The Picture Palace in Harlesden was bought by the council in 2020 and dedicated as a Black community centre after George Floyd’s death.
An old North London Wetherspoons pub may be transformed to hold a reggae “museum” exhibit in Brent council’s plans to celebrate the Black community.
On Harlesden’s Manor Park Road, the centre acquired by the council in 2020 could be used to celebrate the history of reggae and Black history in the area.
The Picture Palace will be renovated as part of the council’s Black Community Action Plan, which was initiated after the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The initial ten-year Action Plan aims to celebrate Black heritage, with events such as a pop-up market at the site promoting the “Black pound” selling handmade products celebrating Black culture – with people visiting from as far as Birmingham.
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In attendance at the event this weekend, Councillor Matt Kelcher commended the plans, citing Harlesden, known for its Caribbean restaurants and Black entrepeneurs, as the “ideal place” for the project.
Councillor Kelcher, chair of the Brent Planning Committee, said: “One of the things that emerged from that [Black Community Action Plan] report was supporting spaces for the community to celebrate culture and come together.
“The council decided, quite easily, that the building that they have was the ideal place for this.
“The reason I’m really supportive of it is that it provides good facilities for the community - it brings people together.
“Like the market on Saturday, people from all communities will be trying new food, learning new things and meeting new people.”
He added that the site could be used to host a number of events such as a pop-up reggae “museum” and other exhibitions.
Brent is the “most diverse borough in the country” with the seventh largest black community in London, according to the council.
It added that the Action Plan hopes to address the inequalities that black communities continue to face, such as the “disproportionate impact” in mortality rates of Covid-19 on Black and Asian communities.
Original Post: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/picture-palace-brent-council-harlesden-manor-park-road-old-wetherspoons-reggae-museum-b996362.html
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