Regeneration project: Catford

The Mayor has invested £122,000 from Round One and £1.5m from Round Two of the Outer London Fund in Catford, boosted by £600,000 from Lewisham Council, to help create a vibrant high street ahead of major redevelopment of Catford Shopping Centre. The first round of investment funded a study of Catford’s public spaces and the role of the Broadway in the regeneration of the wider area. The second round of funding has put these plans into action, renewing Catford Broadway. The high street is being improved with better paving, lighting and new market stalls and street furniture designed by muf architecture/art. Shop fronts and signage are also being redesigned to create a distinctive identity for the high street.

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Animating spaces

Events around Catford’s popular market are bringing more people to the high street. A new market at Catford Broadway on the first Sunday of each month is showcasing food, arts and crafts from across the area. Stalls include Sardinian charcuterie, South African, Chilean and Spanish street food, cakes, handmade soaps and flowers. A monthly supper club is offering local food entrepreneurs the chance to plan exciting menus for guests dining in a marquee on Catford Broadway. The event has been a big success and has moved inside for the colder months. The ‘Catford Canteen’ is running weekly for six months, with over 21 chefs involved.

Public spaces

Initial Outer London investment helped fund BDP’s feasibility study into Catford Broadway. The study helped secure a second round of funding from the Mayor to make the plans a reality. Catford Broadway is now being given a new shared surface to make it more pedestrian friendly while retaining essential access for vehicles. Graphic designers Objectif are creating murals for blank walls around the town centre, and a new Catford typeface will be used on shop forecourts.

Building frontages

Retailers along Catford Broadway are being offered shop front improvements, from improved shutters and awnings to entirely new frontages. Signage and branding has been designed by Objectif to create better cohesion across all the shops. This includes a new Catford font that’s being used to develop a unique local brand throughout all signage. Special stone lettering is also being laid into shop forecourts, spelling out each unit’s building number and contributing to the overall look and feel of the street.

Supporting business

Lewisham has set up a new scheme to support people who would like to become market traders in Deptford and Catford. Applicants have been given free training sessions, a grant towards starting their own business and a free pitch at a local market. Training is being delivered by Deborah Efemini and Claire Pritchard Lewisham’s Renewal Managers for Catford and Deptford. It includes branding and marketing, trading standards and health and safety. Across Deptford and Catford the scheme’s helped 17 new traders open market stalls, including ‘That Natural Stuff’ selling fresh juices and smoothies, ‘Celestial Treats’ offering healthy cakes and desserts, and fresh pasta from ‘Pastificio Mansi’.

Stewardship

An important part of the changes in Catford has been the appointment of a Renewal Manager for Catford Broadway. The appointment has meant that the market trainee scheme and the special market events have had a dedicated project manager, with strong knowledge of the area and local businesses. The two Renewal Managers share learning across the borough. A new local Catford network of residents and traders is also being established by the manager to secure the future of the market.

Preparing for change

Round One of the funding included a feasibility study by BDP examining physical public space improvements along Catford Broadway within the context of broader regeneration of the area. The work helped to ensure that Catford remains a thriving town centre during the development of the Catford Shopping Centre and Millford Towers, including measures to provide replacement amenities and services such as parking. Engagement with local residents and businesses and a review of licensing options were part of the report.

Borough: Lewisham

Partners/client: LB Lewisham

Consultants: BDP, Urban Flow, muf architecture/art, Objectif

Funding: Mayor of London £1.6m, LB Lewisham £600,000

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