Thanks to the determined efforts of a dedicated band of volunteers, Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham's joint bid for upto £100,000 of government funding to revitalise the High Street has won one of 13 Portas Pilot grants in the second round of bidding.
With £100,000 of matched funding towards town centre improvements for Forest Hill and Sydenham from the Phase Two development of Bell Green and a further £15,000 from Lewisham, the pilot will concentrate on three projects.
Jack & Jill
Two high street shops will be renovated for creative community engagement, exhibitions, showcasing local products, business workshops, ‘pop-up’ events and as a Town Team base
A high impact project with lasting sustainable benefits will renovate upto 12 vacant units, letting them to an eclectic mix of businesses and organisations, including successful Market Makers traders on a Pop Up or trial basis.
More than a market, this will build on the success of the Forest Hill Food Fair, to pilot markets on a rotational basis across the area, with the aim of finding long term tenants for our vacant units.
Richard Hibbert, Chairman of the Forest Hill Society said "These are exciting times for Forest Hill. The Town Centre has been the top priority of the Society and the Forest Hill local assembly for the past two years and we are beginning to see the results of our efforts. We are already seeing signs of revitalisation in Dartmouth Road ahead of the pools opening in the next couple of weeks.
"We have managed to get graffiti removed from various shops and buildings in the town centre, won an Outstanding award from the Royal Horticultural Society for the planting outside the station, revitalised the Trader's Association and hosted three successful Food Fairs. The Portas funding will focus our efforts for the next stage and enable us to deliver the town centre that local residents want.
"We firmly believe that this investment in our high streets is another important step in our founding aim of making Forest Hill an even better place to live and look forwards to working with the other members of the Town Team.
"Particular thanks are due to Ed Holloway, a Forest Hill Society member, who put a lot of time and effort into enhancing the first bid and turning it into a winning bid in the second round."