Woolwich shop heritage renovation programme across town centre yields results

A program of shopfront improvements to various buildings across Woolwich town centre has seen a number of sites now completed.

The project is funded by Heritage England and covers sites on Powis Street, Hare Street and on Barnard Close.

First up we have MyStyle. This image shows work on a separate but related project covering Powis Street and Beresford Square.

Shortly after taking this the contractor Osbourne entered administration. A subsequent site visit saw no staff on site at all.

MyStyle is a fine building on a prominent corner position that previously had a perfunctory, dull exterior at street level.

Before changes

The work has greatly improved it. Further west at the end of Powis Street is The Castle Tavern and Soneva next door.

Both are now looking great.

Two buildings at western end of Powis Street

In the middle of Powis Street two adjacent units saw work.

One was artfix which hosts numerous events and contains a cafe.

And next door work was undertaken on virtue specs.

Shopfront revamp

Near the Thames and Waterfront sits First Choice café which has been complete for a few months now.

This was built in 1929 as the first Burton menswear shop in the town. The company moved a couple of times before entering administration.

Street corner looking towards Woolwich High Street

It was in a poor state before with the upper floor in poor condition.

Before work begun

Public realm work on Powis Street isn’t intended to head this far down despite work on buildings and shopfronts.

Other sites included in the program with planning applications submitted for improvement work include the Friends cafe.

It’s located on Barnard Close between Powis Street and Sainsbury’s on Calderwood Street.

Friends cafe on Barnard Close

Another shop which has seen plans is Cezar on Hare Street.

Work so far undertaken has lifted and improved parts of the town centre.

Most shopfronts are decent enough though  one of the worst offenders now is the Jobcentre, with it’s dull grey signage and blanked off windows offering no animation at street level.


It’s far from the best building in town exacerbated by how the Jobcentre treat it.

Once home to Littlewoods and Index, the corner street frontage is shut and devoid of life.

Powis Street junction with Calderwood Street

Even if their internal layout prohibits usage of doors and transparent windows, at least do something like a mural. Anything to enliven the blot.

Poundland too isn’t exactly giving the lovely old M&S next door much care.

After turfing out homeless individuals living on the corner they installed some cheap panels blocking off the corner.

Still, overall Powis Street and Hare Street’s buildings are looking the best they have for decades. Remember how bad a lot of Hare Street used to be?

Hare Street building before improvement undertaken before the Heritage scheme commenced

As for the town’s centre streetworks, we’ll hopefully find out what’s happening there soon.



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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 shop heritage renovation programme across town centre yields results

  • My understanding is the building currently occupied by the Job Cebtre will become vacant by the end of the year.
    So will be interesting to see who takes over the building next. As the old Littlewoods/New Look stores as a lot of floor space and would make a great large retail unit again.
    This building and the neighbouring Poundland building could do with a face lift to bring the out sides of the buildings up to date and make them look more appealing on Powisc Street..

    • Definitely. There’s even enough space in there to turn it into a little mall, much as they’ve done further up Powis Street. Either way, I’ll be glad to see the back of that place, the only part of Woolwich that needs a wire cage over the exterior CCTV.

  • * programme (unless computer) in British English

  • I’m a bit concerned that they’ve removed all the seating, I was able to totter on my crutches and have a rest after walking or standing too long. I literally can only walk distances and stand for a few minutes. I won’t be able to manage it if there’s no where for me to sit, meaning I’m even more isolated than I am now. It’s not much fun being disabled at the best of times but now I can’t even go for a monthly shop. Greenwich council what arenyou doing ?

    • I feel for you Ric. Sadly disabled and elderly people are very often forgotten when it comes to planning applications and improving public realm etc.
      There is a need for seats available for people to be able to sit and rest while out shopping..

    • Unfortunately the council will say seating encourages “loitering “ it’s very sad and silly to give in to that when people really do need a sit down and like to meet and talk to each other or just watch the world go by as they do and have done safely for hundreds of years in most town and village squares all round the world especially under trees . The only public seating on the Herbert Rd is going to be removed along with the only tree.


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