West Norwood and Tulse Hill are set for a £130,000 investment to create affordable workspace after securing funding from City Hall. This was made available under the High Streets for All Challenge to stimulate economic recovery and comes after almost two years of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The West Norwood and Tulse Hill ‘Making High Streets Work’ project was submitted by Station to Station Business Improvement District (BID) and supported by Lambeth Council. Just fifteen London boroughs were chosen for the award, which was given to those who worked with local partnerships to devise ways to help their high streets and town centres recover.
The ‘Making High Streets Work’ project was awarded funding as it built upon the area’s aspiration to be even more of a ’15 minute neighbourhood’. The combination of capital & revenue funding will be used to support future development, repurpose vacant or underused buildings into affordable workspace and diversify the area’s high streets by attracting new businesses.
“West Norwood & Tulse Hill has much of what a ‘15 minute neighbourhood’ needs; good local amenities (library, cinema, leisure centre, theatre), a traditional high street with a good mix of independent retailers, chains and healthcare services, with an adjacent industrial estate and business centre which provides a mix of light industrial and office space. However, the single aspect that is missing is a good supply of flexible and affordable workspace which, if realised, could bring hundreds more workers into the area. This would provide a positive uplift on the local economy; increasing high street footfall levels, demand for an increased evening economy and a sustainable travel offer – leading to a more vibrant, compelling and sustainable town centre.” Charlotte Ashworth, Station to Station BID manager
We are looking for work environments which will cover a variety of needs; including co-working, ‘hot desking’ and studio space, as well as ‘meanwhile’ space for short-term needs.
Cllr Matthew Bennett, deputy leader and cabinet member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, said: “I am delighted that the Mayor’s Office has recognised the potential to develop both town centres to support workspace that will create jobs and opportunities.
“Station to Station BID and the council have worked tirelessly to put forward proposals that will free up new light industrial space, inject new life into vacant buildings and address the urgent need for more affordable workspace to support our growth sectors, particularly creative and digital industries and the low carbon economy.
Station to Station BID lodged a funding application for the High Streets for All Challenge’s third round earlier this year.
The successful grant will now focus on creating the workspace, developing light industrial land and support Lambeth’s businesses and landowners to repurpose their stock for a selection of much needed uses.
The council has previously identified West Norwood and Tulse Hill as having potential to attract additional commercial office or workspace organisations as well as addressing an urgent need for more studio space for Lambeth’s creatives, artists, and innovators.
Cllr Bennett added: “There is an urgent need for good quality, affordable office, studio or workspace in West Norwood and Tulse Hill, which this project will directly address.
“Supporting these sectors in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic is central to our vision of enabling start-ups and small businesses to thrive, attract new investment and create opportunities for them to succeed.”
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The Mayor and I are committed to ensuring our high streets can flourish and thrive at all times of the day and night, as we emerge from the pandemic.
“This project is a great example of a local partnership coming together and leading the way with innovative solutions that will help ensure the benefits are felt by all.”