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'It's a hidden gem': Community celebrates re-launch of North Finchley's Grand Arcade
Families flocked to see the transformation of a run-down shopping parade into a “vibrant” community space today.
The Grand Arcade in High Road which was finally unveiled this afternoon after months of work by the North Finchley Town Team.
The team invited community groups and people living in the area to see what the arcade has to offer – including space for parties and meetings, good Wi-Fi connection and business space.
Town team chairman Darren Shea, said: “It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s all been worth it. I think it’s going to be a really vibrant addition to the area – but it’s up to the community now to get on board and use the space.”
Barnet Borough Council has given the team £70,000 to help run three units in the arcade, where businesses can showcase their products in pop-up shops, as well as hold meetings and interviews.
There is also a gallery called Hasler and an area that can be used by community groups.
Hannah Ladipo has owned handicrafts store Let’s Learn,where people can find out how to knit, crochet and sew, since 2012.
She said: “I think what the town team has achieved has been vital to the future of the arcade.
“We’re tucked away and so we rely on people coming in to take a look at what’s on offer. Before the team got involved, the arcade was really grotty but now you can really appreciate how beautiful the architecture is.
“It’s a hidden gem and it’s wonderful to see so many people coming to appreciate it.”
As well as stall-holders selling their wares, the crowds were entertained with arts and crafts and a fitness session as well as a singing and dancing performance from 360 Arts.
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