£265m funding to build new palace

£265m funding to build new palace

Funding is in place to build a new Crystal Palace. DRAWING COURTESY OF ANDREW WILLIAMSON

Cllr Stephen Carr

First published in Bromley by

FUNDING is in place to see a new Crystal Palace built as part of plans to overhaul a historic park.

A leading Scottish Bank, believed to be Clydesdale Bank, has given its support to the scheme in Crystal Palace Park.

It is backing plans for a smaller replica of the famous Crystal Palace as part of £265m worth of private investment in the palace, with additional funding from the park being generated by the development.

The structure, designed by architect Ray Hall, would be located on the site of the original palace, which burned down in 1936.

Sue Nagle is a member of Triangle Traders, which represents traders in Upper Norwood, and campaign group Support the Crystal Palace.

She said: "Last Tuesday I was privileged enough to meet with a major Scottish bank, and it is absolutely behind this.

"This is going to be the most prestigious building in the world."

In a letter to News Shopper, she added: "This ambitious proposal would breathe life back into the area it named, and the whole of south london, providing world-class entertainment and exhibits, education and cultural facilities.

"The areas surrounding the park have suffered from degenerating job opportunities in latter years so the 1,000 jobs the new palace would provide would be very welcome, especially for those with children leaving school.

"It would also be wonderful if children did not have to travel long distances for their entertainment."

Once built, a trust would be set up for the palace, which would pay for itself with the facilities inside.

Any surplus would be reinvested into the park through a charitable trust set up alongside the building.

Two tenants, a hotel and an entertainment complex and ski slope would be based at the site.

The central chamber - known as the barrel vault - would house galleries and an auditorium for classical and rock concerts, ballets, shows and exhibitions.

Ms Nagle said: "Once it is built we are going to have people queueing up to get into it.

"We have the Hilton Hotel and extreme sports company Xscape wanting to get in there."

However, according to the London Development Agency (LDA) which submitted the current masterplan last November, the plans for a palace would need to be submitted separately.

Ms Nagle believes the inclusion of the palace is necessary to make the LDA's plans for the site financially viable.

The LDA plans to put in a tree canopy which could be used as a car park for major events in the park on the site of the old palace.

Its masterplan also includes an Olympic-size swimming pool in a new regional sports centre, which would have a grassed roof to blend into the landscape, a tree-top walkway and tropical greenhouses, funded by selling off parkland for housing.

An LDA spokesman said: "The masterplan has already been submitted and large-scale changes of this nature are not viable at this stage.

"It has been developed over a number of years in consultation with the community in the Crystal Palace Park area."

An exhibition of the palace scheme will be held in the Cscape Galleries, Church Street, Crystal Palace, from February 2 to February 18. Admission is free.

Clydesdale Bank declined to comment on the scheme.

Bromley council leader Stephen Carr said: "It has been an aspiration for about 10 years now to build a scaled down version of the original Crystal Palace on the top site.

"It would give long-term stability to the park and would be a great attraction."

It could take up to a year before a decision is made on the LDA plans.

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