Portas Pilots

PortasMore than 200 people packed into the Horniman Museum in Sydenum to welcome £100,000 funding from the Portas Pilot for Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill.

Those present heard how the town team are hoping to rejuvenate the area’s high streets by starting a market, founding community hubs and commandeering empty shops.

Louise Brooks, a Sydenham marketer and mother who is heading one third of the bid’s three-pronged plan, said the event had been a huge success.

She said: “We were at full capacity. We ended up with over 200 people, and it was very well received. We’ve had all of the feedback forms from last night and there are lots of people that want to be involved in various capacities, and I think people kind of understand that this is just the start.”

The bid by the Lewisham area has three winning components:

The Shop Revolution aims to refurbish and let out up to 12 vacant retail units, liasing with landlords who let their property go to waste by securing rights for ‘meanwhile’ use by pop-up or community organizations. ‘Jack’ and ‘Jill’ will be the names of two high street shops – one in Sydenham, one in Forest Hill – renovated as community hubs for events, workshops, exhibitions and further planning.

Market Makers will organise rotating fairs and markets across three local spaces, testing the waters for a permanent market in the area and encouraging local traders to get their business out onto their doorsteps, making creative use of public and private space.

Along with the cash, the town team will also receive advice from businesses and organisations involved in the pilots to enable them to get the project off the ground.

If you want to know more see the town team’s website at www.see3.co.uk or email info@see3.co.uk.

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