Forthcoming major Lewisham High Street and market upgrade starting soon

An update on a £24 million pound project to revamp Lewisham town centre has been given at a recent meeting of the borough’s Mayor and Cabinet.

A report states that construction drawing are expected this December/January with work beginning in next year.

A total of £15,690,000 has been authorised for High Street changes. Of that £24 million budget, £19 million comes from government’s Levelling Up fund with £5 million from Lewisham Council.

Lewisham town centre and High Street at present

The meeting covered High Street changes including the market area and clock tower, with the council also creating a web page for the project.

Lewisham Market

Much like at Woolwich’s £20m town centre upgrade which has only just commenced, market stalls will have permanent canopies installed.

Market stall on right gives hint of what is coming

Studio Weave have been commissioned for the market project in Lewisham. They also drew up plans for Beresford Square’s current changes in Woolwich.

Woolwich market changes.

The Lewisham council report states “investment in infrastructure will be paired with initiatives that complement the market’s offer and expand the diversity of groups who use the market, without losing or alienating existing customers, including an evening market, “pop up” trading opportunities and space to support food and drink, cultural and seasonal events.”

Lewisham nightlife

Enhancing what’s on offer into the evening is one goal of the overall project. With many new homers in Lewisham, and more planned through the shopping centre redevelopment, creating an evening economy to provide jobs is a major hope.

New homes in Lewisham as seen from car park

In recent years Lewisham has seen pubs open but close just a short time later, such as Antic’s Suttons Radio.

Closed

On the flipside it has managed to retain a number of High Street retailers such as marks and Spencer who have vacated various town centre’s in recent years, including Woolwich.

M&S remain

Changes along the High Street from the clocktower will comprise new street furniture, paving, landscaping and lighting.

Lewisham town centre’s lighting is operated under a PFI contract with Milestone which required alteration to the contract.

Clock tower will be renovated. Paving not too old

Of totals funds, £15.7 million covers the High Street with additional funding being spent on changes to Lewisham library which is currently closed while work is ongoing there.

Business space and a café are part of the plans at that site.

Rising costs

Since the bid was drawn up back in 2021 inflation has rose to extremely high levels thus the original budget will not stretch quite so far.

While costs are now subsiding, at one point materials and construction inflation hit 20 per cent.

Existing paving hasn’t been well maintained in areas

So decisions will need to be made on how to stretch funding further. Of Lewisham’s £5 million contribution in match-funds, £4 million is derived from Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy funds related to new housing and development.

There’s also issues around the remaining £1 million, with the report stating:

“There is currently £1m of funding required that is assumed to be funded through a combination of the disposal of the Library Resource Centre and council funds, however if the proceeds of the disposal do not match the £1m funding requirement then there will be an assumed need to borrow externally.

“This borrowing would attract interest and the need to set aside Minimum Revenue Provison (MRP) and therefore would be cost to revenue.

“The council will continue to look for alternative sources of financing, such as additional grant from DLUHC, in order to reduce the potential risk of needing to borrow externally.”

The report also handily includes a timeline as seen below.

Lewisham town centre project timeline

Next up we should see a planning application soon submitted covering some elements of work.

As soon as it’s up, this site will cover what it includes.

 

 

 

 

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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

One thought on “Forthcoming major Lewisham High Street and market upgrade starting soon

  • We need our own WESTFIELDS SHOPPING CENTRE right here in Lewisham. People from West and North London dont even know of Lewisham. I’ve lived here for last 28yrs and I am ashamed of the place, the untidiness of our street market. Stallholders allowed to leave their UNSIGHTLY stall out in our streets, compared to Bromley Street market, Lack of wine bars, bistros and fooderies. And Our STREET Christmas decorations should be improved to the standards of ELTHAM, BROMLEY, CHISLEHURST, and ORPINGTON. Yes it’s a predominantly black area but we pay council tax, road tax, income tax, ground tax and all the other taxes. So why should we be treated any different from the predominantly “white areas”. This is Racism. From Brockley Honor Oak to Dulwich, all the little areas are better represented in Christmas street lighting decorations. Lewisham and Catford are the WORST decorated streets and its our “high streets”. NEWHAM a predominantly MUSLIM area has far better street decorations than Lewisham and Catford, and Newham is said to be the POOREST Borough in SE England. Our council workers and officials don’t live in Lewisham, the ones who make senior decisions. They must give our money to the boroughs they live in. All I can say that is good about Lewisham is our ROADS. But please reduce the amount of HUMPS in our streets and roads. Police emergency are driving too fast in our PEDESTRIANISE STREETS namely Lewisham High Street. Police drivers who kill pedestrians , speeding at 80mph, should be charged for MURDER. AStheir speeds are unjustifiable.
    Emerson Brown.

    Reply

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