By News Reporters
Fitzrovia has a long history of community activism. Since the 1970s there has been a steady growth in the number of organisations concerned with improving the quality of life in the neighbourhood in the face of increasing commercial development. Today a number of groups survive at a time of decreasing government and local authority funding.
A casual observer may wonder why there are a large number of community groups, but each group is quite distinct in its area of interest and there is a lot of co-operation between groups. Many groups are un-funded and rely on larger organisations for support. Most are secular but there are also some faith-based groups.
The Charlotte Street Association was formed in 1970 and are concerned with the area between Gower Street in the east and Wells Street and Cleveland Street in the west. They comment on planning and licensing applications and campaign for more affordable housing, open space and environmental concerns. They initiated the Fitzrovia Area Action Plan currently being developed with Camden Council.
The Fitzrovia Community Centre Limited (registered charity) opened the new Fitzrovia Community Centre in 2012. The Centre was created from a section 106 funding by University College London Hospital allocated to the London Borough of Camden. It comprises an area of approximately 670 square metres with full disabled access including an outdoor courtyard. The building has a range of rooms available for large and small groups and individuals. It will have some long-term tenants and facilities for short-term use by organizations, community groups, and local people.
The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association (registered charity) was formed in 1975 when they opened a Neighbourhood Centre on Tottenham Street. They publish Fitzrovia News, run a housing and welfare drop-in advice and information service, community development projects in support of older people and the Bangladeshi community; and comment on planning and licensing applications. Their area of interest is the whole of Fitzrovia from Gower Street in the east to Great Portland Street in the west. They also organise the Fitzrovia Festival. In recent years the Festival has become a smaller affair with an event celebrating Fitzrovia’s residential community and history at its Neighbourhood Centre.
Fitzroy Square Neighbourhood Association (formerly the Fitzrovia Residents Association) has residents and local businesses as members from an area bounded by Euston Road, Tottenham Court Road, Maple Street and Cleveland Street. As well as protecting residential amenity in the Fitzroy Square conservation area they want to encourage and support neighbourhood shops particularly in Cleveland Street and Warren Street where these are under threat from developers looking for conversion to residential, restaurant or office. They also organise the Fitzroy Square Opera.
Fitzrovia Youth in Action (registered charity) is based in Warren Street and provides youth services in Camden and Westminster. They were formed in 1997 and became a charity in 2000.
All Souls Clubhouse (registered charity) on Cleveland Street is a Christian community centre and provides a number of services. It has been open since the 1950s. As part of the mission of the Anglican Church in the parish of All Souls, they seek to remain faithful to their evangelical heritage within the context of the Anglican Communion.
Friends of Open Spaces Fitzrovia meet regularly to discuss the improvement and maintenance of Crabtree Fields, Whitfield Gardens and The Warren playground.
The Fitzrovia Trust (registered charity) was established in 1985 and acquires vacant and run-down properties. They own a number of retail and social housing properties in Warren Street. They refurbished the Fitzrovia Community Nursery and playground in Whitfield Street and brought it back into use.
Howard House and Cleveland Street (north) Neighbourhood Watch is not only interested in crime prevention but comments on planning and licensing in Fitzrovia.
This above list is not intended to be complete or definitive.