London gets regeneration hat trick from football club
Arsenal football club has now officially opened a £60 million waste and recycling centre, funded as part of its £357 million stadium project.The club's stadium project forms one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK, and the new waste centre will promote the recycling and reuse of materials in the London boroughs of Islington, Camden, Hackney and Haringey.
Having been built on an area that had previously lain derelict for over 20 years, the centre has been designed with the environment in mind. The facility's roof is planted with sedum to create a "green" roof, and it has also been fitted with 1,400 "acoustic baffles" to help control reverberations within the tipping areas, reducing noise pollution.
As well as the stadium and recycling centre, the project will also incorporate the regeneration of over 60 acres of land over three sites in north London. The overall plan will provide around 2,000 new homes, create some 1,800 jobs in the area and will offer other benefits such as health facilities and community space.
Additionally, after Arsenal's relocation to a new football home in August 2006, Highbury stadium will be partly demolished and then redeveloped as a high quality residential scheme.
Director of Arsenal, Ken Friar, said the club was delighted to be handing this new facility over to the community.
"One of our key aims when embarking on this project was to create more than a world class stadium," he stated. "The completion of this £60 million waste and recycling centre not only demonstrates our commitment to the regeneration of the local area, it also provide real tangible benefits to the local community."
The executive member for sustainability at Islington council, Bridget Fox, was pleased that the centre would make it much easier for both local residents and businesses to recycle and reuse their waste materials.
"This is the first of many benefits from the Arsenal development, and it's a great opportunity to combine modern waste, recycling and education facilities to provide a 21st century service for the borough," Ms Fox said.
"With London's waste mountain growing, we need to more than double the proportion of rubbish we recycle in the next two years alone, and this centre takes us one step closer to that goal."
By Jane Kettle