Fire at Watermans arts centre in Brentford

Image: Fire at Watermans this morning; photograph from social media

Empty building awaiting redevelopment, no one hurt say London Fire Bridgade

There has been a fire at Watermans arts centre in Brentford this morning (Wednesday 5 June).

London Fire Brigade officers attended the fire and extinguished it. Cllr Tom Bruce, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Assets, Regeneration and Development, has issued a statement saying:

“Thankfully no one was hurt, but the building has been damaged. The cause of the fire is being investigated by LFB, and our officers are at the scene to support them as required.”

The arts centre was closed in April amid protests from local people. The Hounslow Arts Trust, which ran it, said keeping the building open was no longer viable as costs had risen so much.

READ ALSO: Watermans arts centre in Brentford closes

READ ALSO: Watermans closure “the only viable option” for Hounslow Arts Trust, says Ruth Cadbury

Image: Fire at Watermans this morning; photograph from social media

Degree of damage yet to be assessed

Several local groups had expressed an interest in using the building to continue arts activities there until the site is redeveloped. Developers received planning permission four years ago to built apartments there and to provide a new arts centre on the site of the old police station in Brentford.

READ ALSO: Protest at closure of Watermans

READ ALSO: Save Our Watermans campaign put in bid to use the empty building

The development has been delayed, also because of rising costs, and the developer LGL has recently put in a planning application to Hounslow Council seeking to demolish a single-storey motor room building at the northwest corner of the site, in a bid to prevent their original planning permission from lapsing.

READ MORE: Watermans developer seeks to avoid laspse of planning permission

Cllr Bruce said:

“Once the site is safe and handed back to the Council, we will assess the degree of damage to the building. We are also liaising with the Hounslow Arts Trust, who are currently based in the building, to understand the impact on them.”

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