The Trust, in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley and Gallions Housing Association, has submitted a bid seeking funding from the Mayor of London’s ‘Pocket Parks Initiative’, to help transform an uninviting area of Thamesmead’s urban realm into a welcoming and enjoyable amenity for local people.
The Mayor is looking to fund 100 ‘pocket parks’ in London, defined as ‘small areas of inviting public space for all people to enjoy and … contribute to making the city friendlier, greener and more resilient’.
If successful ‘The Link Pocket Park’ will be located at the confluence of a number of critical routes and facilities underneath the Eastern Way roundabout.
As well as transforming a poor quality ‘left-over’ space dominated by large-scale roads and utilities, the proposal will provide both a focal point for positive outdoor activities and transform walking and cycling connections to jobs and training opportunities. The park will enliven a much underused space by creating attractive spaces that can be used flexibly for a range of functions including:
- An outdoor performance space
- An outdoor micro sports area
- A quiet sculpture and planting garden
- Upgrade of the ‘A-Frame Bridge’ with striking lighting and artwork
The Trust’s Head of Social Enterprise, Richard Fishlock, has led the development of the bid, which was submitted last month. "Like a lot of funding programmes ‘Pocket Parks’ came with a very short deadline and so it was a bit of a rush pulling the bid together," he explained.
"However, we got some great support from Gallions Housing Association and the London Borough of Bexley, who have prioritised it as their leading project. All told it could be worth just under £100,000, and with that level of investment we could do some great things to improve the A Bridge and the spaces surrounding The Link Thamesmead; areas which have already been prioritised in the South Thamesmead Regeneration Framework and the Ridgeway Master plan." The decision is likely to be made in March, so fingers crossed!