Royal Marine Reserves to parade through Wandsworth town centre before receiving Freedom of Borough award at Wandsworth Town Hall

Royal Marine Reserves to parade through Wandsworth town centre before receiving Freedom of Borough award at Wandsworth Town Hall

Royal Marine reservists will parade through Wandsworth town centre on Saturday 28th January 2017 in recognition of being awarded a Freedom of the Borough award.

Volunteers serving their country from the Royal Marines Reserve unit, whose headquarters are in Merton Road in Southfields, will take to the streets on Saturday January 28 in celebration of their links to Wandsworth.

Freedom of the Borough is an award given only in exceptional circumstances where an individual or organisation has demonstrated outstanding achievements in their borough.

The Royal Marines Reserve will be the third from the country’s armed forces to receive the award in recent years.

The 2nd Battalion Royal Tank Regiment (2RTR) received it in 2011 while another reserve unit, the London Regiment, based in Clapham Junction, did so in 1992.

The unit’s commanding officer Lt Col Ed Moorhouse said: “It is a great privilege that has been bestowed upon the Royal Marines Reserve City of London by the granting and exercising of the Freedom of the Borough of Wandsworth.

“Since arriving in the borough in 2011, we have had unfaltering support from the borough council and its local residents.

“We are hugely proud of being part of Wandsworth. Over the last five years ranks from RMR City of London have deployed to the Middle East and in support of the Fleet on operations and have trained from the jungles of Central America to the Arctic Circle.

“An integrated and dynamic reserve force that supports and complements both the regular Royal Marines and Royal Navy, they remain ready to meet the complex operational and environmental challenges of the 21st Century.”

The streets will be filled with 160 reservists, veterans and cadets, who will be accompanied by the Band of the Royal Marines.

The parade will start at Wandsworth Town station and pass along York Road, into Fairfield Street, then on to Wandsworth Town Hall where they will be formally awarded the Freedom of the Borough.

The Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Richard Field said: “This award pays tribute to the bravery and dedication of these volunteers who have served their nation with great distinction as part of this famous and historic Royal Naval force.

“We are immensely proud to be associated with them.”

The parade is due to start at 2.40pm and will last for about 10 minutes.

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New home for Royal Academy of Dance on its way in Battersea

New home for Royal Academy of Dance on its way in Battersea

An agreement between the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and property developers York Place Buildings has been reached to provide a brand new purpose built headquarters for this historic institution.

York Place Buildings has guaranteed a newly built state of the art home for the RAD in exchange for their current premises on Battersea Square.

The Battersea Square premises will be converted into 34 flats and 5 modern town houses designed by Assael Architects, and which has won Sunday Times British Homes Awards Housing Project of the Year.

The council has approved plans for the redevelopment of the Homebase warehouse and car park on York Road, making the RAD’s new home just a mile away from the original location. The project, designed by architects Patel Taylor, features seven studios, a flexible performance space with moveable seating, improved accessibility, modernised changing rooms and office space, two cafés and the opportunity to display the academy’s extensive archives in a new library.

There will also be more opportunity for the local community to hire space, watch or participate in dance activities and performances at the new building.

Luke Rittner, Chief Executive of the RAD, said: “As a world leader in dance education and training, our new home needs to reflect that status in every way. I believe that this new building will be a world-class headquarters that will not only make our members, staff and partners proud, it will also help us to fulfil our mission in support of dance and dance education internationally.”

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “I am delighted that the Royal Academy of Dance will remain in Wandsworth. Their new headquarters will represent a major new attraction and we will be working closely with the Academy in the coming months to help more local people get involved with their work.

“Battersea is changing and we understand the vital role that cultural institutions like the Royal Academy of Dance have to play in creating genuinely attractive, interesting places with real life and vitality. Local people have a lot to look forward to and we will continue to do everything we can to attract and retain more inspiring cultural venues in the years ahead.”

Pankaj Patel, Director of Patel Taylor, said: “London’s challenge, in place-making terms, is to create mixed-use buildings which genuinely make contributions at local and cultural levels. In response to London’s housing needs, we have created a design which houses the Royal Academy of Dance in the ground floor, contributing to the local community and animating the public realm, integrating it with an innovative housing solution, preserving the relationship of the Royal Academy of Dance and Wandsworth.”

York Place Buildings’ redevelopment of the Homebase site will also include 275 homes with communal landscaped gardens. The site is within the Greater London Authority’s Clapham Junction to Battersea Riverside Housing Zone, which ultimately intends to provide 5,000 new homes, commercial floor space and 1,300 jobs.

Omer Weinberger, Director of York Place Buildings, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide a state of the art new home for the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance, and that it can remain in Wandsworth. We’re looking forward to starting on site later this year, providing spectacular river fronting apartments above the new RAD headquarters and, in due course, on our award-winning scheme on Battersea Square.”

Artwork courtesy of Fifth Capital London

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Battersea Boy’s Bridgade group set to meet HRH The Prince of Wales

Battersea Boy’s Bridgade group set to meet HRH The Prince of Wales

The 1st Battersea The Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association are getting ready to meet HRH The Prince of Wales having been nominated for a Youth United Social Action Award.

The ten BB members aged eight to 10 were nominated for the award that recognises social action amongst uniformed youth groups, thanks to the time they volunteered at Charleston House Care Home for people with elderly care needs, dementia, learning disabilities, mental health conditions and physical disabilities.

The group spent time speaking with the residents, listened to some of their real life stories, served lunch and supported the residents in activities including music and gardening, all contributing to being nominated for the award.

Residents were also able to get a sense of the work done in their area by young people accessing youth work through the BB community and commented on how the visits helped reduce feelings of isolation often associated with living in a care home.

The 1st Battersea The Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association will attend the awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace on January 31st where they will meet with HRH The Prince of Wales after the Awards ceremony.

Natalie Whipday, Director of The Boys’ Brigade England & Wales, said:

“Social action is massively important for all our communities and is something the BB have always found to be integral in building better communities. These awards are recognition for all the fantastic youth groups out there doing exceptional work week in week out.

“It is also a platform to highlight the importance of social action in society. Big congratulations to 1st Battersea.”

Following positive feedback from both care home staff and residents, the BB group have already arranged for future visits to continue their voluntary work to benefit the community.

Lindsay Levkoff Lynn, CEO of Youth United Foundation said:

“Youth United is incredibly proud to celebrate the thoughtful social action undertaken by 1st Battersea.  Supporting the elderly and preventing isolation is one of the many powerful ways young people make a positive difference in their communities, as seen by the smiles in pictures from the day.

“Like many other new uniformed youth groups, 1st Battersea were funded by our Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund (UYSAF), which came to a close in March 2016. This fund saw the creation of 27,000 new places for young people across the country, bringing the cumulative total of new places created with the support of the Foundation close to 42,000.

As well, thank you to the dedicated adult volunteers who generously give their time to support uniformed youth and serve as role models of active citizenship.”

Major roadworks on Wandsworth one-way-system

Major roadworks on Wandsworth one-way-system

Drivers and bus passengers are being given advance warning of a spate of roadworks that are scheduled for the Wandsworth one-way-system starting next week.

Various sets of works have been approved by Transport for London which will affect the one-way-system between Monday, January 16 and Saturday, March 11.

Over the course of this seven week period various lane closures will be put in place on both Wandsworth Plain and Armoury Way, which are likely to cause hold-ups for motorists and people using buses.

The first set of works, due to start on January 16 will see lane closures by Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) in both Wandsworth Plain and in Armoury Way which are due to last four days.

Following on from this, from Monday, January 23, Ram Street will be closed along with one lane in Armoury Way between Wandsworth Plain and Ram Street, for approximately four weeks, for various utility company works.

As soon as these works have been completed, further roadworks are expected. Details of these will be announced by TfL nearer the time.

For more information visit or call TfL’s customer services centre on 0343 222 1234.
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