London's Great Outdoors: Barkingside, Redbridge
Programme: Outer London Fund
Barkingside’s been awarded a grant of £1.9m, topped up by £233,000 from Redbridge Council, for a major regeneration project to help it become a thriving town centre.
Public spaces around the library and leisure centre have been redesigned to create a new town square that encourages a variety of uses. Shop fronts and other important sites have been smartened up to help independent traders and improve the high street.
Perhaps most exciting of all, the annual Fairlop Fair (last held in 1900) has been revived as a new community event and a unique visitor attraction for Barkingside.
Architects DK-CM have helped to create a more accessible and usable setting for buildings at the northern end of the high street.
The town square has been remodelled as an open area for markets and community events, including a raised platform which doubles as a stage.
An inaccessible area beside the leisure centre is now a Pocket Park, with a small space for commercial use. New murals and wayfinding markers made from local green oak are a characterful way to improve connections between the high street and Tube stations.