Woolwich is to receive part of a £1 billion fund to improve High Streets across the country.
This news is a great shot in the arm for beleaguered Woolwich which has seen some high profile store departures and a struggling centre.
It’s great news though physical improvement work alone will not help the town if rents remain so high. Even big names like Starbucks have left, and an independent trader recently quoted eye watering sums from landlords which ensured they lasted a year and then were forced to leave.
If the High Street is to ever compete with online it needs traders to be able to afford to stay, and that in turn would then ensure lower prices for customers. Many people do still want to meet friends and family in town centres to shop, drink and socialise in an era of online retail.
This news comes amidst a huge number of development projects which I’ve covered over many years now. Just last week another project comprising 642 homes on the former Woolwich Poly school site near Lidl was submitted. See here for more images and details.
There was also news that an appeal has been launched to build a tower in front of Woolwich Tesco and hundreds of homes on vacant land behind comprising 904 homes in total.
Towers on the former Waterfront car park are also rising:
A block at Callis Yard opposite Waterfront beside Riverside House also completed but has been held up by legal disputes:
Other recent events include plans to demolish a car park above Sainsburys in Greenwich Council’s site allocation strategy, covered here.
Yet another scheme in the town is a tower and 296 homes on the site of Mortgramit Square. Click here for more on that.
Of the existing shops, British Land purchased 56 last year for £103 million.
Large parts of Woolwich town centre were designated a conservation area in January 2019.
Greenwich Council will receive up to £150,000 to develop proposals that will then be submitted for funding. Hopefully wide ranging engagement with the public will now occur.
In addition, investing some of the millions each new development has brought the authority is more likely to secure income through match funding.
A large number of other projects are ongoing including :
- Waterfront leisure centre moving to the site of Wilkos
- Spray Street redevelopment
- Towers above the eastern end of the Elizabeth Line platform in a separate project to Berkeley Homes Royal Arsenal site
- Various estate redevelopment schemes totalling 1,600 new homes
- Blocks on Wellington Street just up from the Town Hall.
- New homes on the “Island Site” around the Earl of Chatham pub
I’ve launched a summer funding appeal. Click to see how you can help. Any help much appreciated.