Celebrating Finsbury Park

Kasper de Graaf, 04 February 2019

2NQ is a not-for-profit organisation set up to work with the stakeholders and communities of Finsbury Park to improve the usability and enjoyment of the Park for local residents and visitors. Our first project is to collaborate on a programme of arts, culture and heritage events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Finsbury Park in 2019.

We are excited by the opportunity to engage with people to connect with the idea of a People's Park, returning to the origins of the park in 1869. 2NQ has received seed funding from Haringey Council which is being used as a match to attract funding from other sources to support this programme, and we are aiming to get the two other boroughs where the Park’s immediate community lives, Hackney and Islington, on board too. We are independent of Haringey Council as a separate not-for-profit organisation.

Who is involved? Arts organisation Furtherfield, based in the park since 2012 is a key participant and many of the proposed activities will be based in the Furtherfield Commons space, at the southern end of the park. Also on board are Kasper de Graaf and Malcolm Garrett, experienced professionals in urban innovation and communication design who have worked on multiple user-focused city projects, including the Legible London wayfinding system.

A community board has been developed that presently has residents from all three boroughs and stakeholder groups including Finsbury Park Trust, Pedal Power and Friends of Finsbury Park, as well as representatives from community groups. We welcome more local representatives to join the next meeting on 6th March (see below). The programme is being pulled together by independent curator, Simon Poulter, who has expertise in working in public places and recently developed NetPark in Chalkwell Park, Southend.

We are using £50,000 of seed funding from Haringey Council as a match for funding bids to Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Big Lottery, as well as local trusts. The content of the programme is not determined by the Council but developed by 2NQ in collaboration with the community. The aim is the funding from Haringey is leveraged to deliver a more extensive programme, and to develop community and stakeholder-based ideas about the future use of the Park.

Separately and unconnected with 2NQ, Haringey Council has also announced a small grants scheme. Details and information on how to apply for funding under that scheme are here.

2NQ’s programme will include projects aimed at adults, children, carers of people with long term illnesses and those with mental health issues as well as everyone that uses the park. Some of the work is happening right now, including regular #Everything150 walks each month in the park and a People's Platform for live performance from March. We’ll be running Future Fictions partnering local people with sci-fi writers and ‘adventure learning' with schoolchildren, replicating some fabulous work in Crystal Palace Park. We've also started developing a project to collect photographs of the Park’s history which we hope will result in a large-scale exhibition in the Park later this year. We plan to update this blog regularly with news of our progress and new events from now on.

There are many stories to tell of the 150-year period. We will be covering Jim the Elephant, The Suffragettes and the curious Kibbo Kift movement from the 1930s!

If you have questions or want to get involved, get in touch!

  • If you would like to join the community board please email rsvp@2nq.uk.
  • If you have stories or photographs that you would like to contribute please email m.garrett@2nq.uk.
  • To keep updated on events and activities follow @finsburypark150 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or sign up to the mailing list here.