Regeneration project: West Norwood
Lambeth’s has been awarded £230,000 from Round One of the Outer London Fund, and a further £1.3m from Round Two matched by £384,000 from the council, to improve West Norwood. The funding is making West Norwood’s high street a great place to visit and helping to attract more visitors. The investment is supporting and helping to expand the West Norwood Feast, a monthly celebration of food, art and crafts run by the local community. Shop fronts are being spruced up to make the high street look better, public spaces in the centre of West Norwood are being upgraded, and junctions improved. Local creativity and enterprise is also being supported through the Makerhood programme and a new business club.
Launched in 2011 with the support of Space Makers Agency, the West Norwood Feast is a monthly market, with four hubs along the high streets. Each hub has a different focus – retro and vintage, prepared food, arts and crafts, and fresh produce and gardening. It has brought together a group of volunteers who run the market, and given opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs to set up stalls. Supported by the Mayor, the Feast has held celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee, an Olympic Opening Evening and an annual Winter Lights Christmas event. New signage by Objectif for the Feast includes portable large-scale letters and wooden bunting.
A series of improvements are making the centre of West Norwood greener and safer. Landolt & Brown’s scheme is putting the pedestrian first with wider pavements, better crossings and better wayfinding. The scope of the work concentrates on the area near the beautiful West Norwood Cemetery, taking in three important roads: Norwood Road, Knight’s Hill and Norwood High Street. The public space around West Norwood Station is also being altered, and St Luke’s Church is being lit up. Art works are being installed throughout the town centre to enliven it, and reflect the interesting character and history of the area.
A shop front improvement scheme set out by Lambeth Council in 2010 is being extended and realised with the help of Outer London Fund investment. Shops are being picked based on a broad vision for the high street, while designs are being developed by Designed by Good People in consultation with each business. Light touch replacement of awnings and new signage is being combined with some entirely new shop fronts, where appropriate.
A number of free business support activities are being offered to new and existing businesses in West Norwood. Traders are encouraged to share knowledge and advice at the West Norwood Business Club, with regular meetings designed to nurture a local network. Alongside the club, a series of workshops is offering guidance on tax, cash flow, tenancies and business planning. The funding has also allowed the expansion of the Makerhood scheme that’s been successfully supporting and promoting local businesses in Brixton. Makerhood is now providing business development training to local furniture makers, artists, jewellers and many other creative enterprises in West Norwood.
Both the West Norwood Feast and the Business Club are giving opportunities for local residents and traders to create fruitful partnerships and networks. The Feast has helped volunteers from across the community, including from economically, physically and socially disadvantaged groups, to come together to either run or take part in events. The organising team of volunteers were first supported by the Space Makers Agency, but later trained to take over management of the event with the help of a part-time coordinator. On the day of each Feast, stewards and helpers set up the event, with roles suitable for the whole community to join in.
Partners/client: LB Lambeth, TfL
Funding: Mayor of London £1.5m, LB Lambeth £384,000