Mayor of London officially opens new community hub in Kingsbury
- Credit: Archant
The Mayor of London joined scores of residents in celebrating the opening of a new multi-million pound community hub in Kingsbury at a special ceremony yesterday.
Boris Johnson visited the newly built Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, on Kingsbury Road, to cut the red ribbon to commemorate the official opening of a brand new multi-purpose building that offers a variety of sporting, social and family activities.
The hub is part of a wider £20m pound project which will see the completion of the new Mandir in August this year.
Mr Johnson said: “I think it is a fantastic achievement by the community. This will be a resource for local people in Kingsbury. I think it will be a wonderful place to come and do all sorts of things, cricket nets, football, weddings and then there is also a wonderful traditional Mandir.
“In a hundred’s year time, this will be part of the heritage of London. I really congratulate people on what they have done.”
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Mr Johnton was greeted to the sound music courtesy of the Shree Muktajeevan pipe band and was later treated to a colourful dance showpiece presented by temple attendees.
The Conservative politician fashioned a traditional turban, presented to him by Dr Mahesh Varsani, one of the trustees of the Mandir, in keeping with an ancient Indian traditional used to honour people of note.
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He later met with religious and community leaders and was given a tour around the new state of the art multi-use facility and the unfinished Mandir.
The money used to build both constructs were raised by the community and through the sale of its previous site in Golders Green, which is being developed for housing
The move to Kingsbury has come about as a result of a unique partnership, with members of the temple working closely with the boroughs of Barnet – where it was originally based – and Brent, its new home.
A condition of the sale of the Golders Green site was to ensure the provision of the same amount of space that would be available for activities open to the wider community. Barnet accepted this being provided just across the border in neighbouring Brent.
Mr Johnton continued: “I think it is very important to encourage religion and voluntary organisations. They give so much to our lives and communities in London and what they do is give people a place where there can come and hang out; they help with mentoring young kids -all sorts of things.
They are absolutely invaluable to London and a major contributor to the success of London and you should never underestimate the power of spirituality and faith.”
Lalit Dabasia, trustee for the temple, said: “The Mandir in Kingsbury is a dream come true for our community.
“From small and humble beginnings, our community has occupied a range of properties, from houses to community halls, to most recently, a disused church.
“Not only do we have a magnificent and traditional Hindu Mandir, but purpose-built and state of the art multifunctional facilities to accommodate our activities and make an even greater positive impact to the local community.”