The Mayor of London yesterday announced spending £23.7 million on 42 projects as part of the latest round of the Good Growth Fund.
Greenwich’s winning bid was £700,000 for the Charlton workstack, which I’ve covered for some years.
According to the award: “The Charlton Workstack project is an innovative new approach to industrial intensification. It is a new building providing 14 new stacked industrial workspaces in Charlton Riverside. Delivered by the Greenwich Enterprise Board, the spaces will provide much needed high-quality industrial workspace in an area undergoing significant regeneration.”
Given there are so many smaller, empty commercial units across the borough (with many being converted to housing or lying vacant for years) is this a priority for funds, at least not as part of a wider mixed use scheme?
The Greenwich Enterprise Board are behind the project and have some prime sites such as the former Royal Arsenal Gatehouse in Woolwich. Would that site not be better used as commercial space – such as a bar/restaurant – to bring life to Beresford Square? It’d improve Woolwich town centre, bring footfall from the Arsenal site over the road and GEB could use income to provide sites elsewhere.
It’s interesting to look at bids in other boroughs.
“To improve and unlock key areas of public realm that are most used by vulnerable people and local businesses as well as provide improvements to the high street including shop front improvements, meanwhile activation, business support and public art.”
“Based on in-depth local engagement, the project will provide a coordinated package of public realm, community space, sustainable transport and business support measures to bring together different parts of the community and provide civic infrastructure to enable good growth”.
Here’s Hammersmith & Fulham:
“A multi-faceted place-based project focused on improving the high street and market along North End Road.”
Notice how many boroughs realise the importance of public space and projects which support a wide cross section of society?
Enfield Council are going for:
“A high street focused local regeneration project based in Angel Edmonton comprising an ‘urban room’ for community engagement, the creation of low-cost office and retail space in disused garages and a laundry yard, and public realm improvements at targeted spots along Fore Street”.
So in Enfield they are creating low cost space AND public realm improvements.
Haringey, for example, are using funds for:
“A strategic area-based regeneration project that includes co-designed youth and social inclusion projects and the creation of safe routes to schools in Wood Green and Noel Park to improve street greening, air quality and promote active travel. The project also includes an innovative approach to address issues facing the local high street using a town centre re-positioning strategy and a pilot project to convert an existing retail unit into a piece of civic infrastructure.”
Newham are to use it for:
“A strategic town centre project that includes improving Green Street high street and intensifies Queen’s Market by bringing in new programmes and activities needed in the town centre as identified by the local community.”
Greenwich borough won’t see a project that improves the area for many but cabins where employment space is being lost by deliberate policy – and where small units and spaces are hardly running short.