An arts centre that once faced closure is set to benefit from almost £2 million worth of funding.

Harrow Council’s cabinet announced last night that Harrow Arts Centre will receive a £1.91 million boost to help support cultural activities in the region.

The funding – which is split between a grant from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the council’s borough community infrastructure levy (BCIL) – will be used to expand the number of classes and workshops at the centre.

Some of the derelict portable buildings will also be converted to increase usage, with the council anticipating more than 86,000 more people a year will use the centre.

Cllr Keith Ferry, responsible for regeneration, planning and employment at Harrow Council, said: “Harrow Arts Centre has caused us considerable grief over the years.

“There is far more demand for the services than we can provide at the moment.

“But by increasing capacity and replacing some of the outdated buildings, we can bring it into a bright and sparkling new future.”

The council currently subsidises the centre by more than £320,000, though this will be reduced to zero in 2021/22.

It will receive £760,000 from the GLA’s ‘Good Growth Fund’ and is hoping to match-fund this amount from the BCIL.

Cllr Christine Robson welcomed the idea that an improved centre would provide cultural “linkages” to Harrow and beyond – a concept supported by the fact that only 70 per cent of the centre’s users come from an HA postcode.

She was supported by Cllr Krishna Suresh, who suggested that these improvements would “help future generations and benefit the borough as a whole”.

Cllr Ferry added that such expansion could eventually lead to it making money for the council.

In its report, the council estimates that it could benefit from a net profit of £133,050 in 2021/22.

Any surplus from this year on, it noted, would contribute towards future years’ medium-term financial strategy.