Inaugural Great Place Scheme event - Old Oak Park Royal: In the Making

To help shape this exciting and creative project, local residents, businesses and artists came together on 6 March 2018 for OPDC’s first Great Place Scheme Community Briefing and Brainstorming event at The Collective on Old Oak Lane. 

Old Oak Park Royal: In the Making

The Great Place Scheme is an ambitious and community-focused project supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. For this initial event we invited everyone we had already spoken to about the Great Place Scheme, as well as those who had expressed an interest in the project to gather thoughts and ideas to shape the activities and projects in Old Oak and Park Royal.

Thanks to the attendees, the evening was full of great ideas as it gave people the opportunity to play a role in helping to develop the projects of the Great Place Scheme. 

On the night, attendees were encouraged to write down what they thought was great about Old Oak and Park Royal and what they thought could be improved. The feedback was really helpful as it is contributions like those below that will help shape the activity that takes place through the Great Place Scheme and deepen our knowledge of the area. You, as the local residents, artists and businesses, are the experts when it comes to knowing the area, the people and the assets, so who better to ask?

What makes Old Oak and Park Royal great? What needs improving?
The heritage and history of the area The lack of colour and vibrancy in the area
The leisure activities that take place at Wormwood Scrubs The disconnect between Old Oak and Park Royal, caused by poor transportation links and a lack of a community exchange/hub
The potential for The Grand Union Canal to showcase local art, as well as offering people a place to eat, relax, or do both! The need for more affordable housing and community centres

OPDC in the making 9

The eight project themes

The presentation began with a short introduction about the Great Place Scheme, outlining the eight upcoming projects that the Great Place Scheme is focusing on. These include:

  • Annual Art Commission - a large-scale, world-class participatory commission, drawing visitors from across London and beyond 
  • Community Meals and Kitchens - promoting the many food businesses in the area
  • Park Royal is Open - uncovering the rich small businesses and iconic brands
  • Made in Park Royal - limited edition products and collaborations between artists, communities and manufacturers
  • Small Grants Programme - supporting existing and new initiatives and organisations
  • History and Heritage - walking and cycling routes, community led tours, maps and improved signage
  • Capital Works - meanwhile uses, improvements to public realm, permanent hub, interest in design, architecture and public space
  • Skills and Employment - training and skills, apprenticeships and educational strands to each project

Activities and group discussions

Once the initial overview had been explained, it was time for everyone to get to know each other a little better as people were asked to share their ideas on how to shape the eight project themes (outlined above). 

Attendees took part in a skills-sharing game:

  • attendees were split into groups and each member of the group were dealt a set of cards. Each ‘suit’ represented a topic of discussion which included: Skills, Relationships, Behaviour Attribute and Resource Offer 
  • each person then had to nominate what they could contribute to future activities or projects following the themes on the cards. The aim of the game was for everyone to have one of each category

This created a helpful platform to get people chatting about the different skills they had and what was their interest and passion for Old Oak and Park Royal. 

Following a short break with dinner and soft drinks, the second activity began with the opportunity for everyone to change groups and focus on one of the eight project themes to discuss in more detail. This prompted even greater discussion about the projects and got everybody thinking about ways to steer, take part and influence the Great Place Scheme.

OPDC in the making 8

The presentation and ideas shared by attendees

Following the evening, we've shared the presentation and summarised the main points and ideas raised at the event on the Great Place Scheme page within our website.  

Next steps

We’d like to thank everyone who attended and helped make it such a great start for the project.

We’re holding our next meeting on 9 May 2018, so if after reading this you want to attend the event, register to attend. The event will have food provided, as well as snacks and biscuits donated by McVitie’s and Kolak Snack Foods Ltd

One of the key points that came out of this event was the desire to have a more formalised group of community members who can actively help with the different activities and projects. Whether the group is called ‘Culture Champions’ or ‘Community Ambassadors’, or indeed some other name, we’d like you to be involved. So please register to attend the event on 9 May and speak to us on the night about your future involvement in the Great Place Scheme.

Our sponsors

The Great Place Scheme has been supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Heritage Lottery Fund & Arts Council England

 

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