Old Oak Park Royal: In the Making

Our aim is to involve the whole community in shaping and steering the Great Place Scheme. On 6 March 2018 we held our first Community Briefing and Brainstorm session, where we outlined the eight project strands, and asked for ideas and suggestions for each area.  We were delighted that the discussions were lively and creative.

Following the evening, we've shared the presentation and summarised the main points raised at the event below. 

We will feed these ideas into the projects as they develop and follow up with our growing group of keen community members on a regular basis.

Review the presentation from 6 March 2018

Great Place Scheme: Community Briefing and Brainstorm - March 2018

Published: 05 April 2018

Annual Art Commission

Over the three-year project, these will be large-scale, world class participatory commissions drawing visitors from across London and beyond.

The discussions and ideas shared included:

  • an event/spectacle that could happen across multiple Park Royal locations. Eg: Art Night and Lumiere Festival 
  • can be ambitious - less restrictions than residential parts of London 
  • sound, lighting, projections and interactive games / a sculpture park or trail 
  • virtual reality and other digital outputs to expand audience and provide a legacy 
  • empty industrial buildings / meanwhile uses
  • the work should be participatory and involve local stakeholders 
  • the environmental impact of the annual commission should be considered and of the GPS programme more broadly
  • the annual commission should link across the 3 years and support the other programme strands so the programme felt cohesive
  • all production and fabrication requirements for the commission should be sourced from local businesses wherever possible 
  • one artist or organisation curating multiple smaller commissions could involve more artists, communities and businesses as well as spread the impact across Park Royal
  • lack of a multifunctional exhibition space/ workspace for local artists was highlighted – set up a makerspace
  • students from the University of Westminster and UAL are a good resource
  • open call process and feedback from local people on final selection

Community Meals and Street Kitchens

A key theme for our activity will be using food to spark debate, share histories and bring communities together. Given that Park Royal is home to a large number of food businesses, we want to promote these through our activities and events.

The discussions and ideas shared included:

  • food brings peoples together which allows knowledge and culture to be shared
  • world food market /or farmers market 
  • using the diverse Park Royal businesses to train young and unemployed people 
  • Social Enterprise Food Project
  • food Pop-Ups
  • connect with Foodbanks and Community Kitchens
  • recycling food waste 

Park Royal is Open and Made in Park Royal

Given the close nature of these two topics, they were combined for the discussions. Here's a little bit more detail for them both:

  • Park Royal is Open: Uncovering the rich tapestry of small business and iconic brands
  • Made in Park Royal: Limited edition products – collaborations between artists, communities and manufacturers

The discussions and ideas shared included:

  • businesses in Park Royal and the residents/surrounding community are not connected 
  • the local community would like to have more opportunities to connect with businesses
  • creating a business and residents group /  ‘Park Royal Next-Door’ noticeboard to share thoughts and ideas
  • a geocaching app could help with discovering the area by identifying routes for tours
  • improvements to connections to make Park Royal a more attractive area to visit
  • having a Made in Park Royal logo/brand so that the area can become more recognisable
  • a festival celebrating the different products that are made/manufactured/hired in Park Royal
  • increase the use of social media to promote and market businesses located in Park Royal and increase business synergies

Small Grants Programme

Throughout the three-year project, we want to support new and existing initiatives and organisations through a Small Grants Programme.

The discussions and ideas shared included:

  • a working group is needed to develop the criteria
  • need to develop a set of outcomes/criteria for applicants to meet that complements other areas of work
  • the brief should encourage applicants to propose work that creates a sense of place and puts the area on the map
  • suggested activities that could be funded: events to bring people together and pre-enterprise training
  • it is a challenge for organisations to get information about activities to residents and businesses in the area - It would be helpful to have funding for communications and/or Great Place Scheme to develop communication strategy/campaign about who is in the area
  • size of grants - £1,000 and applications open twice a year
  • as grants are small we need to ensure that they are easy to apply for
  • two-tiered system e.g. quick meeting/pitch for what you want to do and then if fits a more detailed application. Could also offered variety of ways to apply e.g. video 
  • selection panel should be:
    • representative of the area, made up of local residents/ groups/businesses
    • trained so that members feel confident in their decisions
    • refreshed annually

Heritage Tours and Tourist Information

These ideas could include creating walking and cycle routes, community led-tours, maps and improved signage in the area.

The discussions and ideas shared included:

  • Heinz Archives
  • McVities Archives
  • BBC Archives
  • Brent Archives - have published local pamphlets for purchase
  • Ealing Archives 
  • Acton History Groups
  • Park Royal
  • Manufacturing heritage 
  • Vehicle production 
  • Electricity powered industry – one of the first industrial locations in the country powered by electricity
  • celebrate diverse communities
  • health - Not all heritage is positive – industrial uses had negative impacts on health of local people
  • Class (eg: Island Triangle – managers lived in wider housing compared to thinner worker houses)
  • transport: Railways / Cycling / Grand Union Canal / Trams
  • Wormwood Scrubs (Oil was reportedly found under Wormwood Scrubs in the 1910s) 
  • Heritage Tourists
  • Local photo donations – scanning historic photos from local people and geotagging them

Capital Works

This term means we will investigate, support and create meanwhile uses, improvements to public realm and hope to have a permanent hub. Please note: Capital works ideas will feed into future funding applications for “Early Activation” projects. Currently the Great Place Scheme only has a small amount of capital funding for a project hub.

The discussions and ideas shared included:

  • could access various pots of money i.e. s106 and CIL
  • should be sustainable funding model 
  • collaborate with Harlesden Community-led housing scoping work
  • involving creative community and artists with people and places
  • leisure centre/sports on Wormwood Scrubs
  • South Kilburn hub is good project example
  • permanent hub encompassing employment, skills, businesses and arts
  • ways to provide more information about what is going on
  • music/performance venue
  • buildings/refurbishments for creative uses
  • local people getting the best deal i.e. subsidised workspaces, ringfenced employment 
  • improving the Internet (i.e. lamp posts)
  • semi-mobile pocket parks and performance space – moves as development progresses to test different locations
  • signage/wayfinding – and have a destination/end point for wayfinding projects
  • Pop Up Hub i.e. Brent’s Yellow Pavilion, Wembley
  • pointers to the future (signage, changing spaces)
  • Pop Up Garden and Kitchen i.e. the Skip Garden, King's Cross
  • prioritise arts, alternative and training uses in meanwhile space (non-retail). Provides people with opportunities to get into other careers, interests, skills and diversifies the offer.
  • genuine, maybe community organised, public space (not privately owned)
  • understand how things in the public realm are used, moved and flows between them
  • Brent Borough of Culture 2020 – work together 
  • more rubbish bins on canal and mapping rubbish hotspots 
  • around Willesden Junction
  • navigating to East Acton 
  • connectivity and navigation along canal
  • North Acton (public realm)
  • take people on a journey (into and connecting local town centres like Harlesden)
  • protect local bat community

Skills and Employment

As part of the project we want to invest in, create and promote training and skills, apprenticeships and educational strands for each project.

The discussions and ideas shared included:

  • mentoring
  • pre-employment training
  • construction Skills/ Demolition Opportunities
  • sharing skills and equipment
  • youth services providing life skills
  • need for a skills hub to coordinate between various services
  • create more employment and apprenticeship opportunities
  • qualifications for short courses like bike maintenance
  • public realm and transport issues that affect employees, especially with shift work

Our supporters

The Great Place Scheme has been supported by a grant from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Lottery logo

Share this page