Our Vision


To contribute to the social and economic well-being of the Upper Norwood local community through the provision of cultural and learning based  activities.


To establish the Crystal Palace Community Learning Hub – a place both IN the community and OF the community that offers sustainable high-quality learning, information and community services for all residents in the local area.


  1. To transfer the governance and operational management of the library building to the local community, through the establishment of a charitable trust, overseen by a board that is led by community residents, and includes experts in the fields of learning and community development, all of whom will be committed to making this vision a reality. Trust services will be run by professional staff with the support of volunteers. the library service will be provided by Lambeth Council.
  1. To secure funding agreements from Lambeth and Croydon councils to enable the trust to continue to deliver high-quality services  to the residents of the local community. Building on what UNJL is already so well known for and so good at.
  1. To secure further funding to extend the existing offer by becoming a centre for community activity, a base for training and skills development, and a gateway for access to other public services. And to explore options diversifying income streams to sustain these additional services through a combination of external funding and income generating activities, building on the existing assets.



  • delivery of lifelong learning courses, commissioned by external agencies
  • ICT facilities and training
  • space rental to local community organisations (making full use of the building as a community asset)
  • local archive information
  • hosting of public information services
  • a job club, and work experience opportunities for local residents
  • family and parenting classes
  • a community café and creche


The Community Learning Hub will build on a highly efficient and much needed local service already delivered through the Upper Norwood Joint Library. Independently run for 115 years and funded jointly by Croydon and Lambeth, Upper Norwood boasts unprecedented membership levels of 44% of the local community thanks to the tailored services it provides.

The Hub represents a creative and positive solution for both the residents of Upper Norwood, and Croydon and Lambeth Councils, faced with cuts to public spending, and a need to rethink how services are delivered more efficiently. It will deliver an innovative, cost-effective approach to learning provision, and offer a real example of how the principles of the Big Society can help build high-quality services run by and for the local community.


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