‘639 High Road heralds bright future for Tottenham’ says Mayor

08 May 2013

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today officially opened the doors of a new enterprise centre in Tottenham as part of his continued drive to boost jobs, skills and volunteering opportunities in the area.

The 639 High Road Enterprise Centre, funded by the Mayor and run by local charity London Youth Support Trust (LYST), is a unique project embedded in the local community, that will provide a raft of employment and training services for new businesses. Entrepreneurial initiatives set to use 639 include Supamums, a group working with teenage and young parents helping to remove obstacles to training and providing job search support; and Made in Tottenham (MIT), a new fashion line run by young people in Tottenham that creates up-cycled clothes (taking old clothes and redesigning them to give them to give them a new lease of life).

The listed building, which was badly fire damaged during the summer riots of 2011, has been restored into a thriving new centre where people of all ages can find out about how they can get started in business, build their skills and their CVs, as well find out more about how to get involved in volunteering as part of the Mayor’s Team London programme.

The centre is part of a wider £41m regeneration programme by the Mayor of London and Haringey Council, focussed on a range of ambitious projects to rejuvenate Tottenham by increasing employment and investment opportunities in the area.

Today the Mayor was joined on a tour of the building by Tottenham MP David Lammy, Haringey Council Leader Claire Kober, former Tottenham Hotspur star and newly appointed Youth Ambassador for Team London, Ledley King. On a day the building’s doors were thrown open to the community, they were shown the extensive new facilities and services available onsite and meet local people using the centre including:

  • Business incubation units and hot-desking facilities
  • Business support advisors and mentoring
  • Enterprise and employability training
  • Job search clinics and CV support
  • Apprenticeships and work experience advice
  • Opportunities with the Mayor’s volunteering initiative: Team London
  • Exhibition space for local artists

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The transformation of 639 High Road from a dilapidated shell into a buzzing new enterprise centre heralds a really bright future for the people of Tottenham. This fantastic building is now home to a cornucopia of services all aimed at boosting skills, helping people into work, fostering entrepreneurship and encouraging more people into volunteering through Team London. Having emerged Phoenix-like from the ashes, 639 High Road is now a place that everyone in Tottenham can be proud of and I’m delighted the doors are well and truly open.”

David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, said: “639 is a centre where Tottenham residents can turn potential into action. Whether it is starting a small business, gaining employment skills or volunteering, there is something at this hub which will interest everyone. I welcome the delivery partners who have shown themselves so willing to be part of Tottenham’s future, and look forward to working with all those involved with 639.I hope that the centre will become a key feature not just of Tottenham High Road, but also of the future successes of our residents.”

Haringey Council Leader, Claire Kober, said: “It’s great that one of Tottenham’s landmark buildings has been transformed into a community space that will support the wider regeneration of the area. The space and practical support for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs here is outstanding, and I hope that the guidance from dedicated advisors at 639 will also help our young people find the jobs, work experience and training they need to secure lasting employment.”

Robert Whitmore, Chief Executive of the London Youth Support Trust, (LYST) said: “LYST is delighted to be opening the 639 Enterprise Centre in partnership with the Mayor of London, who has supported us every step of the way in the development of this expansive project. We believe this centre will have a hugely positive effect on all corners of the local community, enabling us to continue nurturing new business in Tottenham, and providing a place for people to grow, learn, develop and succeed.”

Ledley King, Team London Youth Ambassador for Tottenham, said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to be Team London Youth Ambassador for Tottenham. I am passionate about working with young people. Through my work with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, I have been able to help the Club use its unique appeal to create sporting and educational opportunities for many young people throughout the local area. I work closely with a project called Skills, which has seen the transformation of a disused youth centre into a full-time activities hub for 12-19 year olds every night of the week. Therefore, I am relishing the opportunity to extend this work to wider youth projects in Tottenham and be involved in the new community hub.”


Notes to editors

About 639 High Road: 639 High Road is part of the Mayor of London's Regeneration Fund, in response to the 2011 riots. Local charity London Youth Support Trust has worked in partnership with the Greater London Authority to restore and renovate the building into an Enterprise Centre. The centre’s aim is to help achieve the long-term goal of increasing enterprise and economic activity in Tottenham, thus creating more jobs and opportunities for people in the local area. It will work to keep successful 639 businesses in the area by developing an outreach programme that negotiates with local landlords to lease their space at affordable rates.

There is a wide-range of organisations that will be working out of the building including:

  • First Rung - Job Skills Training
  • Creative Chicz - Beauty Training
  • PRIME – The Prince's Trust for Mature Enterprise
  • Fashion Works - Training Consultancy in Fashion
  • Open Door - Counselling
  • NR Training - Job Skills Training
  • Acorn Training - Personal Development
  • MLB - Personal Development

639 will be home to an on-site crèche for business users. The facility will give people using 639 the opportunity to access flexible childcare if they need it for short periods of time.

About the Mayor’s regeneration plans for Tottenham: The Mayor of London has provided Haringey Council with £28million to fund the delivery of projects in the Tottenham area. The Mayor’s funding will be used to help create jobs, support a series of physical regeneration projects and include;

  • £2.5m to fund physical improvements to rejuvenate Tottenham High Road
  • £1.5m to support employment and skills projects in Tottenham
  • £3m to transform 639 Tottenham High Road to provide a new enterprise centre offering affordable, flexible work space. The enterprise centre is set in a prominent listed building on the Tottenham High Road that the GLA has refurbished over the last 18 months.
  • £18m for North Tottenham, including £3.5m to deliver highways and parking improvements, £2.5m investment in a District Energy Network, £8.5m to transform the area immediately adjacent to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, £3.5m investment in Tottenham Hale Station
  • The GLA is also co-funding the preparation of a Tottenham wide Master Plan to guide future development and investment opportunities. £3m for an Opportunity Investment Fund will be invested in key sites on the High Street, informed by the findings of the Master Plan.
  • In addition to the above initiatives Haringey Council has committed to the provision of £13m of funding creating a total funding pot of £41m to be spent on social, economic and environmental transformation of Tottenham.

About Team London: Team London is the Mayor’s volunteering programme for London (www.london.gov.uk/priorities/volunteering). Whether it’s cleaning up the environment or volunteering at a major event in the city, Team London mobilises community spirit and enthusiasm of Londoners to make a difference. Team London will launch a new website and major advertising and awareness campaign designed to inspire more Londoners to volunteer, at the end of May. Plans for Team London so far this year include:

- Team London Ambassadors returning to top visitor sites across the capital to help visitors and Londoners from July 27th – September 11th

- Team London Ambassadors will be placed in London Schools to help inspire young people to volunteer

- Ensuring unemployed young people are a key part of the volunteers helping support the UEFA Champions League Final in May and at other major sporting and cultural events the GLA is working in partnership with

About The London Youth Support Trust (LYST): LYST is a charity that provides young entrepreneurs with the space and support they need to get started in business. Through our network of business centres across London, we have helped hundreds of young people kick-start their business. Within our centres, we provide affordable units and a three year programme which is designed to help your business become self-sustaining within three years. Our on-site centre managers and professional mentors are available to give you business advice and support when you need it most.

Thirteen years ago, LYST opened its first centre in Deptford. We now have five centres housing start-up businesses in Hackney, Deptford, Southwark and Tottenham. We are proud to have just opened our largest centre yet, 639 Enterprise Centre in Tottenham, which offers local people business support, training, employment skills, and volunteering opportunities. We also run outreach projects for 16-24 year olds in Loughborough Junction and Camden.