Holloway: The centre of arts and culture

Holloway: The centre of arts and cultureHolloway is an inner-city district in North London that is famous for its diversity, contribution to the arts scene and redevelopment work.

Over the years, a number of changes have taken place in the area, which has helped to transform it into the thriving metropolitan hub that it is today.

It is a small district located within the London borough of Islington which is steeped in history and culture.

If you rewind the clock back several years, Holloway was not seen as an ideal place to live and was better known for its infamous prison - which is still there.

However there have been significant efforts by both the council and independent businessmen to overhaul the area, which over time, has turned it into one of the most desirable places to live in North London.

It is also home to a lively arts scene, which has helped to boost tourism and visitor numbers to the district.

Arts and culture

Holloway is also home to the National Youth Theatre (NYT), which is currently undergoing regeneration. The new project in the pipeline will see improved accommodation for the theatre and substantial new housing.

Essentially, what it aims to do is create new connections through the largely landlocked site to the surrounding neighbourhood as well as providing workshop and performance space.

The £10 million redevelopment plan will turn it into a cultural quarter, complete with 80 flats and courtyards for cafés and markets.

Local businessman Tom Shutes has spearheaded the scheme, which is set to go before an Islington Council planning committee on January 16th.

Commenting on the proposals, Mr Shutes said in an interview with Islington Gazette: "Holloway Road is a fantastically positioned part of London that is often overlooked and undervalued. Maximising the potential of the location will be an important contribution to the local culture of Islington.

"I am passionately committed to keeping the NYT on the site. They do a lot of important work in the area and deserve a greater prominence on Holloway Road."

A number of councillors have also voiced their support for the scheme. Councillor Tracy Ismail, who also represents St George's ward, said all efforts must be made to maintain the theatre, which is an important feature in the community.

She told the Islington Gazette: "It would be a huge shame for the community if we lost the NYT.

"Islington is a bohemian place with lots of interesting people: actors, directors, writers and artists. If it goes it would be a loss for Islington's art scene.

"To have something built on that site will be good for the area. It's a very large plot with a lot of very run-down buildings."

The theatre has been around in Holloway since 1987 and is one of the most famous in North London. Famous personalities such as Daniel Day-Lewis and Dame Helen Mirren performed there during their formative years.

In fact, over the years, Holloway itself has been associated with a number of celebrities from different genres of arts and entertainment.

Some of the most famous include actors such as Keith Allen, Marc Bannerman, a former Eastenders actor and Martin Clunes.

Television presenters such as Jon Snow have also lived there, as has Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols and the aptly named rock band, the Holloways.

Properties

Property prices start from just over £200,000 for a studio flat in Holloway, and go all the way up to £1 million for a semi-detached house.

However, renting is significantly cheaper and starts from around £305 per week for a spacious one-bedroom apartment.

Properties in the area tend to be a mix of townhouses, semi-detached homes and flats.

Demographic

Holloway is one of the most densely populated areas of London and is known for its multiculturalism and diversity. 

According to the 2001 census, the population of Holloway was 41,329. Just over half (52 per cent) of that population was female.

Published 13th December, 2013

© 2013 Estates IT Limited

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