Showing posts with label portas pilot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label portas pilot. Show all posts

21 February 2014

February Newsletter: Making Forest Hill more fun!

‘Jack in the Box’ is a community led initiative funded by SEE3 (the Portas Pilot high street re-generation scheme) that over the next three months aims to put on a diverse and interesting programme of events to encourage more people to visit Forest Hill.

SEE3 set the ‘Jack in the Box’ team a number of key themes to work to including Valentines Day, Fashion Week, Easter & Film but crucially the events are being planned around the results of an on-line survey that ran throughout the month of January. The survey was designed to uncover the reasons people visit Forest Hill, what aspects of Forest Hill are popular (and which are not); and, most importantly, what activities/events people would like to see more. The survey went out to schools, community groups, businesses and residents and the results can be seen on the SEE3 website.

The ‘Jack in the Box’ team made up of two women have successfully delivered a number of events across London via their Shared City enterprise. Together they run imaginative inter-cultural experiences, consultation projects and community events across London.

Deborah, one part of duo (that has lived locally for ten years) says: “Forest Hill is an incredible place with a rich history, great shops and leisure offer, wonderful transport and a diverse, dynamic population. We are big fans of all the ‘local gems’ that Totally Locally have identified”.

“Through this project, we’re sure we can attract more people to the area to appreciate all that Forest Hill has to offer. Though this project, we would like to ensure that the events we run leave a legacy, encourage further collaborations between businesses and residents and continue to bring more Londoners from an increased catchment to enjoy the area”.

“The events are all different but one lesson we’ve learnt is that they work best when the community comes together and gets involved. We also want to attract those Forest Hill residents who might feel marginalised and through the events make Forest Hill a place of which everyone is proud”.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events via or the Forest Hill Society website.

17 January 2014

Retail Masterclass with Rowland Gee

In conjunction with SEE3, the National Skills Academy for Retail and the Employer Ownership Fund, you are invited to a Retail Masterclass with Rowland Gee, retired Chief Executive of Moss Bros Group plc.

This is an ‘invitation only’ event for independent retailers in Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham. You are invited to attend either event as follows:
Sydenham Library, 210 Sydenham Road London SE26 5SE on Monday 27th January 6pm–8 pm
or Forest Hill Pools, Dartmouth Road London SE23 3HZ on Wednesday 29th January 6pm–8pm

For more information please contact: Janet Read, National Skills Academy for Retail or Tony Buckley – Town Team Manager, SEE3 on

26 June 2013


The Portas pilot continues to have a positive impact on Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill.
Recent SEE3 activities include the Makers Market outside the pools and various activities by the Artists in Residence, Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta. Freed from the restrictions of running a community hub, they have been busy running two NESTs* at St David's Coffee House and the Algae Opera and Metamorphosis Factory on Havelock Walk. Hopefully you had the chance to enjoy these investigations into the future of the High Street.

Meanwhile it's Sydenham's turn for the Pop Up treatment with “Pop Goes Sydenham” - a series of evening events, street art, club night and four pop up shops opening in the high street over the summer. The first of the Pop Ups opened on 18 May at 167 Sydenham Road (just down from The Dolphin) with contemporary jewellery and interiors brand Gunpowder Cherry Pie and vintage furniture and clothing company Flash Trash.

The evening events will include supper clubs through the summer at Blue Mountain. Tickets can be purchased online at There will also be a community party at The Dolphin on 13 June.

Despite the initial projects of SEE3 coming to an end, with the contracts for the Markets Coordinator, Hub Coordinator and Artists in Residence drawing to a close by the end of July, there is still plenty to be delivered. We will be returning to Forest Hill with Jack In a Box (a mobile community hub) and another Pop Up, possibly in October. We are also beginning on the next projects which are focused more on supporting existing traders.

Finally, we are building out the Town Team. It will have four action groups; Community Involvement & Development, Enterprise and Creative, Events Communications and Marketing, Built Environment and the Public Realm, Events Communications and Marketing. If you would like to get involved, please send an email to

* NEST is an incubator of ideas, future careers, collaborations and projects.

10 June 2013

SEE3 - Community party at the Dolphin

Thurs 13 June, 5pm (food from 6pm), The Dolphin, 121 Sydenham Road SE26

The team behind SEE3 (the Portas Pilot in Forest Hill, Sydenham, and Kirkdale) are certainly creating a buzz this summer! With supper clups, pop-up shops, street art and a club night, save the date for a community party at The Dolphin. All are welcome for a fun evening of music, food and great people!

For more information go to or follow on Twitter at @SEE3PortasPilot

10 March 2013

Seeing Three Ways

2012 was a great year for Forest Hill. We have campaigned hard over the past few years for investment in our town centre and are beginning to see the rewards. 

Back in 2006, when the Forest Hill Society was formed, one of our key concerns was the future of the swimming pool. The sudden closure of the pools was really the driver for a number of local people to come together to form the Society. Over the years we worked hard with many other people in the community and in the council to bring swimming back to Forest Hill. In September 2012 our dreams were realised with the opening of the new pool, a great new facility in the heart of Forest Hill.

The opening of the pool has brought in new businesses to Dartmouth Road after many years of harsh conditions for retailers on the street. In 2011 there were far too many empty shops on Dartmouth Road and the decline was having a bad impact on many businesses that were still there. But as we got closer to the pool opening we started to see new shops opening; a charity shop, a new pub, a few boutiques, a sweet shop, a deli, and a bagel shop. The difference between now and a year ago is stark. Dartmouth Road is back to being an important shopping street, with a mix of shops, restaurants and pubs. There are still a number of empty units but we can be a little more confident that these will be brought back into use in the not too distant future.

In April we decided that we wanted to try having a food fair in Forest Hill, to see if it would help bring more people into the town centre and to prove that there was demand for quality retailers. After a couple of food fairs we were getting good reactions from local businesses telling us that the town centre was busier as a result, so we decided to run these fairs monthly.

2013 is also looking positive for Forest Hill. We are actively involved in SEE3, a separate organisation with responsibility for delivering the promises made in the Portas bid document. We work closely with SEE3 to ensure that Forest Hill and Kirkdale get the maximum benefit from their share of the funds. SEE3's activities will help improve our Town Centres, but unlike us, they are a commercial organisation with funds to pay people to deliver the improvements. Louise Brooks and her team have done a great job in creating three pop ups before Christmas. By the time you receive this, there will be a fourth Pop Up in Forest Hill, “Love Ur Look” at 10A Dartmouth Road, whose launch is timed to coincide with Forest Hill & London Fashion Week (15-19 February) and a fifth is planned for Kirkdale in April.

Forest Hill Traders' Association will be promoting Totally Locally in the spring edition of Lewisham Life, so keep your eyes open for the chance to win a £100 spending spree.

But all is not rosy. We are actively involved in the campaign to Save Lewisham Hospital. Although the Minister has decided that Lewisham should lose its Maternity and A&E units, nothing has yet been closed and the hospital remains open as normal. It will take at least three years before the necessary infrastructure has been built to replace Lewisham's facilities. In the meantime, the fight will go on, and we would encourage you to use Lewisham whenever you need hospital facilities. Other hospitals have suffered due to people avoiding them after similar announcements and we need to make sure Lewisham survives.  The proposed changes will materially impact the long term viability of Lewisham Hospital and it could well suffer a total failure due the impact of the proposals. Lewisham Council will be seeking a Judicial Review of the decision.

Finally, we are monitoring the situation regarding the laundrette. There are rumours that an Estate Agency wishes to get change of use for this vital community resource. Forest Hill has a wonderfully diverse population and a laundrette is an essential requirement for many local residents.

We end the year with a great outlook for Forest Hill town centre. We can be sure that 2013 is set to be a great year for Forest Hill with the SEE3/Portas funding and a great team behind it, pop-up shops, monthly food markets, an active traders' association, and last but not least the swimming pool open again.

Richard Hibbert, Chair of the Forest Hill Society

29 November 2012

Pop-up Butcher and Greengrocer

We are very excited that Franklins will be collaborating with The Butchery to provide fresh fruit and veg throughout December at 49 London Road. Both have been regulars at our food fairs during 2012 and it is great to welcome them to the high street for December.

On Saturday, 1st December The Butchery will be providing samples of their own smoked pastrami, sausage rolls and pork pies.  Their range will include Mangalitza Pork from Chipping Norton, native breed Old Spot pork from HMP Hewel Prison Farm, Llanwenog Lamb from the Forest of Dean, 45 day dry aged Dexter Beef from champion breeder Michael Bancroft in Preston Bagat; Fosse Meadows Truly Free Range Chickens, Creedy Carver ducks, wild pheasant, rabbit and mallards.

There will be an opening special of dry aged native breed beef mince at 6.95/kg, and in the afternoon home made Krupnik (Polish Honey Christmas Vodka) to warm up visitors.

There's lots more going on this weekend across Forest Hill, Kirkdale, and Sydenham and you can find out more at or download the full SEE3 brochure for December.

Shutter artwork by Supermundane and Butch.