Woolwich town centre’s £20m scheme hit as contractor enters administration

A contractor carrying out a £20 million town centre project across Woolwich town centre has entered administration.

Osborne appointed administrators this week impacting work to change the face of both Powis Street and Beresford Square.

The group were in the process of digging up Powis Street with work reaching past Iceland heading towards the junction with Hare Street.

Section outside job centre

I’ve been in town this week documenting various parts of progress which is also set to see Beresford Square transformed with fountains and market traders moved to a spot near Poundstretcher.

Work at the other end has moved from the “road” surface to spaces beside set to see extensive landscaping and new street furniture (some may say clutter given how much is proposed which could hamper pedestrians).

Extensive planting and street furniture

It really does look pretty excessive and high maintenance in planning documents. In many ways it’s a case of repeating the (mistakes?) of the past when Woolwich was first pedestrianised in the 1980s and numerous raised planters were installed later to be remove din the 1990s.

A pavilion including a cafe is also planned at a former toilet block.

Beresford Square


Of course this will all slow down given the current situation and we may see some “value engineering” in future.

Funding for the project was mostly derived from central government via a £17 million grant. That Future High Streets cash was supplemented by £2 million Greenwich Council and Heritage England chipped in £1.8 million for town centre improvements.

Café due here

What happens now remains to be seen. Despite huge amounts of development both in Woolwich and the borough Greenwich Council which has the potential for millions in income the council are notorious for refusing to spend such income on improving local areas via either Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy funding.

Workers on site before company entered administration

Market traders probably won’t mind staying put as their current location at Green’s End is in an area of high footfall.

For most though it seems fenced off areas of the town centre will remain for longer than planned.

Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

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Many thanks

J Smith

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.

6 thoughts on “Woolwich town centre’s £20m scheme hit as contractor enters administration

  • My first thoughts are witb the workers and I hope the Administrators can secure a deal to save their jobs.
    Secondly I hope the works can be completed as planned in Woolwich. If not will this be another huge waste of public money by Greenwich Council..
    I like the works being undertaken on Powis street and Beresford Square. Although as John says the new design does look high maintenance and I wonder how this will be maintenaned by Greenwich Council going forward to keep the area clean and presentable to encourage people to come to the area to shop and for leisure. Improving the night time economy in Woolwich..

  • Did the due diligence in selecting the contractor not include assessing their financials?

    • @ Larry. You would have thought so. Considering the huge amount of money involved in awarding the contract.
      Greenwich Council will have a lot of questions to answer on this matter.

  • *Sigh* Two steps forward, one step back. And it was all looking so promising.

  • Seemed too good to be true, it was looking promising.

    So now we will likely have a squeezed pedestrian corridor for most of the year blocking entrance to Powis street on both ends.

    What are the chances of the whole thing being half completed and they just pave it back up?

  • Has anyone seen any commentary from RBG yet?


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