Alleyways are often not at the forefront of public realm improvements, they are just not that glamorous. In Beckenham the many alleyways off our winding High Street are a unique heritage feature. Presently they are rarely used and many are a constant source of complaint as they are poorly maintained and are perceived to attract antisocial behaviour and vermin. Our project will complement the Council and TfL Major Improvement Scheme currently in progress and due to be delivered in 2016-17. The main scheme will focus on improved pedestrian experience and will include design solutions to improve 4 of the 15 alleyways in the Town Centre. We want to use the High Street fund to ‘do up’ the remaining alleyways. Initial work has started on this project, in response to the issues raised by local people the Town Centre Team undertook an Alleyway Naming project to raise awareness of the Alleyways, foster civic pride and ultimately to secure funding to clean them up.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
This project will create public realm improvements complementary to the TfL Major Scheme. It will improve the look and feel of Beckenham town centre, provide better way-finding and signage, increase access within the town, create a feeling of safety and security and enhance the local area’s character. Improvements to the larger alleyways will facilitate their creative use (mini markets, art installations etc). Doing up the alleyways will give support and promotion to local businesses located in the alleyways. It will encourage support and participation of local traders and community groups. Improved amenity should increase the viability of vacant premises behind the High Street. The Council has £47k of s106 funds for short term improvements. If this bid is successful realising improvements for all the alleyways will be possible. Plus more funding will be available for other improvements, one of which is to install a stage cover and storage unit on Beckenham Green for community events.
Steps to get it done:
This project has full Council support in terms of match funding, assisting with the required approvals and negotiating with private owners. L&Q developers of Rokewood Apartments have given their support to the project and will name the alleys to their site as determined by the naming project. We want to complete our project in 2015 before the main TfL Scheme starts. By doing this we will maintain public engagement and support of the Major Scheme and assure local people that change is coming. In terms of logistics doing the smaller project ahead of the major scheme will cause less disruption than doing it in tandem, doing the project after will lessen its impact and not give the High Street Funded project the recognition it deserves. The Town Centre Team is well established and representative of the town, members include local residents’ associations, business association and local authority. Team individuals have relevant professional, voluntary and grant experience.
About the space
Alleyways off Beckenham High Street
London Borough of Bromley