The Common Room: Roman Road gets ‘golden buzzer’ from London Mayor

‘You came together and kept the momentum going.’ Roman Road Trust Director thanks local community after the Mayor of London throws his full support behind reviving The Common Room. 

The Mayor of London has pledged £50,000 to rebuild The Common Room, a derelict community high street space, as part of Crowdfund London: a programme supporting hand-selected local projects across London. 

The crowdfunding campaign to revive The Common Room was launched by Roman Road Trust, a grassroots community development organisation, earlier this year, and gained 100 pledges in just one week from local people. 

And now the Mayor of London has added £50,000 to this crowdfund campaign: the maximum possible amount he could give. The Common Room was only one of two projects out of fourteen awarded the highest cash pledge.

Rosie Vincent, Director of Roman Road Trust, said the decision by the Mayor’s office was thanks to the support of local people.

‘In a week we went from 40 to 140 pledges. As soon as we said to the community “we need you to back this” we instantly had that support. And I think the Mayor saw that too. 

‘Because you came together, the Mayor looked at the campaign and said “they really want this space” so they were able to pledge the maximum amount.’

But Vincent says the fight is not over. The Common Room may have what she calls ‘the golden stamp of approval’ from the Mayor’s Office towards the crowdfund with this pledge, but they still have to raise an extra £17,000 to hit their target of £77,000.

Crowdfund London works by all-or-nothing rules, meaning if the full £77,000 target is not met by 25 May 2020 then the Roman Road Trust will not receive any of the money, including the £50,000 pledge from the Mayor of London. 

‘We’ve already received £10,000 from local people, which is incredible. This community is amazing in how it can truly come together during a time of need.’

‘We are seeing how it is coming together now’, she says, referring to the current COVID-19 outbreak at the time of writing, which is seeing most businesses shut and people largely confined their homes for an indeterminate period of time.

‘All the charitable initiatives and things people are doing to help each other now – that is the same community spirit we have experienced during our crowdfund campaign.’

If the campaign is successful, The Common Room, currently a derelict, semi-outdoor structure on Ford Road, will be expanded and rebuilt into a family-friendly learning space for local people. 

‘Re-doing the Common Room will open up the evening economy, it’ll improve the look of the high street,’ added Vincent. 

‘It’s about making the high street not just a high street, but a space where people will want to go. We are calling on the community to come together again.

But she emphasises that: ‘The crowdfund campaign is all-or-nothing. This means Roman Road Trust still need more pledges to reach the total target and actually make the project happen.  So it is more crucial than ever to pledge your support to transform The Common Room into a place for all of us.’

Contribute to the Crowdfunding campaign here.

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