Mums and dads gave up their weekends to turn a dilapidated annex building at their children’s school into a new community hub after getting £70,000 from the stalled HS2 high-speed national rail project.

The old annex at Kenmont Primary in College Park, near Harlesden, had been abandoned for 14 years with its peeling paintwork and left as a storage dump.

But the school was given money from HS2’s Community Fund to renovate it “for the people of College Park, Kensal Rise and Harlesden”. 

The annex once housed a Sure Start early education centre but was mothballed in 2010 and became “an unloved space”.

Parents spotted its potential and rallied round. Volunteers gave up time to remove more than a decade of accumulated rubbish, taking it piecemeal to the Park Royal municipal dump.

They worked with community groups like College Park Neighbourhood chaired by Julie McBride for their grant application and finally got it opened last month.

“We are a mixed community with a lot of potential,” Julie said. “We hope to attract people to events, classes and meetings in this long-awaited space.” 

Kenmont Primary sits in a small, forgotten corner of north-west London on the boundary between two local education authority areas, Brent and neighbouring Hammersmith and Fulham. It has fewer than 200 pupils but an enthusiastic parent body and teaching staff.

The grant with the school’s own £70,000 match-funding was just the beginning over the following 12 months. 

Executive head-teacher David Collins said: “The HS2 grant meant we could bring the Annex back into use — not just for the school but for the community. We are supporting our neighbours by providing a space that can be used by all for educational and leisure activities.”

The mums and dads also have other plans to overhaul the school garden and library. So there is “plenty more to be working on”, its parent-teachers association pledges.

They are on a mission to make life at the small school “a magical experience”.

The grant was the boost they say they needed to galvanise fundraising. It came from the government for communities along the route being disrupted by construction of the high-speed line connecting London with the Midlands and the north from the proposed terminal at Old Oak Common. Plans to run the line from Euston have so far hit the buffers.