We are working with a group of diverse local residents, businesses, shoppers, commuters and students who love our local high road, but have seen it gradually deteriorate over the years and lack a sense of place and pride. We lack a communal area where people can simply pause and breathe, sit and be entertained, or showcase their skills. It's become such a thorough-way for activity that it's identity has vanished. And that's what we'd like to change. We came together to re-vitalise it's appearance, fix what doesn't work and inject pride back into our area. By transforming this small triangle, by improving the paving, planting additional trees, and erecting a permanent 'host' structure, we will help re-energise the area for the local community. A small change will open it up to more community identity and entrench community cohesion now and into the future. Discussions have been held with Harrow Council who in principle support the scheme and are happy to explore pledging £35,000.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Because making these changes will make a real step change to the area and its people. It will return a sense of identity and ownership to the area that’s been lost but importantly it’s led by the community so we hope that this will just be the start and the catalyst for further continued improvement in the area. We have many more ideas and think the success of this crowdfunding will have a domino effect. This joint working with the council and the community is good partnership working so we know any permissions we may need in order to carry out the works, will be granted. The project is a great idea because it will complement previous efforts in the area to encourage entrepreneurship through pop up shops and affordable workspaces. The proposal for a 'host' structure within the garden is a natural next step to continue the business momentum that exists, with it being used to 'test trade' new business products but versatile enough to be used during community events/fetes.
Steps to get it done:
Rayners Lane is an area steeped in wonderful history. From its origins as part of the Metroland, to the Grade 2 Listed underground station and to community assets such as the Village Inn pub, there's a real ambition to bring back some of the areas old Metroland/Garden City glory. We have already instigated the project by working with design architect DK-CM, runners up in the European Prize for Public Urban Space Awards, to set out a basic and affordable masterplan for this transformation. Their design reflects on the original Harrow Garden City vision. We have also liaised with big local businesses in the area and are confident that we can secure pledges from them as part of their commitment to the community. Similarly the Council has also agreed to contribute and match fund the pledges we receive.
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Harrow Council had this to say about our project on their internal newsletter to all staff: News Our Village Garden Triangle A project to revitalise a lost triangle of local land has been launched. It seeks to breathe new life into an unloved bit of Rayners Lane and turn the triangular traffic island outside the Grade II listed underground station into a place where people can relax and come together. The project aims to raise more than £77,000 by 24 September. See the project’s flyer or crowdfunding page to find out more.
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