In the last issue of Trust Talk we told you how the Trust, in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley and Gallions Housing Association (GHA), had submitted a bid seeking funding from the Mayor of London’s ‘Pocket Parks Initiative’, to help transform the areas adjacent to The Link, Thamesmead’s brand new £6.2m youth and community hub, into a welcoming and enjoyable amenity for local people.
Well, good news – the scheme has been awarded a grant of £35,000, which is being matched by £20,000 from both the Trust and GHA, bringing the total pot to £75,000.
‘The Link Pocket Park’ will feature new and improved community spaces including an outdoor social area for cultural events, a sports micro-site featuring table tennis and an outdoor gym, a quiet sculpture and planting garden and an upgrade of the Eastern Way Bridge, the only pedestrian connection between North and South Thamesmead, with striking lighting and artwork.
The Trust’s Head of Social Enterprise Richard Fishlock is now charged with project managing the scheme. He said: “Hearing about the grant was great news; the project partners are really pleased. It’s a relatively modest scheme but its impact is likely to be very significant.
“For years we’ve all been keen to improve the journey across the Eastern Way Bridge, and being able to tie that in with the provision of some unique and engaging enhancements to the green spaces surrounding The Link is a brilliant opportunity’.
Dan Hill, Head of Regeneration at GHA said: ‘The Link is a fantastic facility, but getting to it is a nightmare. This partnership investment will do a lot to make it safer and easier to walk and cycle in this part of Thamesmead, and create some fantastic social spaces for use by all parts of the community’.
Richard concluded: “We’re planning to engage local residents as it would be great to have them involved in shaping the design and actually carrying out some of the work. Hopefully we’ll be able to crack on and get the project completed by the autumn.”