Lewisham Town Centre improvement programme
After successfully bidding for money from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, we'll be investing £24m to help revitalise Lewisham Town Centre. It's made up of £19m in Levelling Up funding from the Government, combined with £5m of additional match funding from the Council.
The money will be spent on refurbishing Lewisham Library, rejuvenating Lewisham Market and improving the high street. This investment will help to boost the local economy, provide new jobs and create a nicer town centre for all to enjoy. We'll be looking for input and ideas from residents and local groups through a programme of public engagement which we expect to begin on Monday 11 March 2024.
Lewisham Library will be renovated to create a new Culture and Business Hub and safeguard the future of this vital local service, so the books and study space will be even better. The refurbished library will also include new community space, meeting rooms and workspace for local businesses and students. There will also be a new café and hospitality offer.
From 16 September, the library will temporarily close so works can take place – we expect it to reopen in early 2026. Some services have been moved to other venues in the borough, but we've tried to keep them as close by as possible.
Architecture 00 and Public Works will be supporting the Council with the design and refurbishment of the space, and during the design process.
Lewisham’s historic market will be transformed to support local traders, encourage visitors and create a welcoming space for the community to enjoy. Traders and shoppers will benefit from a new market layout with improved stalls and plans for a permanent canopy over the market, providing space for more traders and creating opportunities for events, pop up stalls and an evening market.
We'll also be using the funding to refurbish the iconic Grade II listed Clock Tower and improve the area around the market with energy efficient LED lighting, better pavements, more trees and planting.
We are working with market traders to make sure the plans benefit traders and shoppers.
The high street will be improved to make it easier to get around the town centre. New trees planted and green pocket spaces will be created, making it a more enjoyable place to visit or dwell. There will also be improvements to pedestrian crossings and cycling infrastructure, and better lighting and CCTV will also help ensure the high street is safer for residents.
Stay up to date
We want residents to help shape our vision for the future of Lewisham Town Centre – we'll be sharing more details about the engagement and consultation process for this project in the near future. You can sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with this programme and other activity across the borough.
Lewisham Town Centre improvements FAQs
What is Levelling Up?
The UK Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund is a programme of investment in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.
Councils bid for money and then are selected and allocated funds. Lewisham Council was successful in its bid in early 2023.
How much money?
After successfully bidding for money from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, we're investing £24m to help revitalise the town centre.
This is made up of £19m of funding from the Government, and £5m of additional funding from the Council.
What is it being spent on?
The money will be spent on refurbishing Lewisham Library, rejuvenating Lewisham Market and improving the high street.
This investment will help to boost the local economy, provide new jobs and create a nicer town centre for people to enjoy.
Where can I see the plans?
The plans will be available for public viewing from Monday 11 March 2024. You will be able to see them online and in-person. We are taking over Unit 25 in Lewisham Shopping Centre (opposite TK Maxx) where we will be hosting drop-in sessions and workshops. We will share further details via our email newsletter, social media and here, on our website.
How can I get involved in any engagement sessions or have my say?
You can have your say from Monday 11 March, when we'll be launching our public engagement programme. Take a look at our plans then tell us what you think either via our online or paper surveys. Sign up to our newsletter for up-to-the-minute information, or follow us on social media.
Where can I go, if I need to use the toilet?
There are plenty of options in Lewisham town centre. The Lewisham Community Toilet scheme was set up by Lewisham Local to ensure clean, safe and accessible toilets are available to the public, at no cost, during normal daily opening hours.
Members of the Lewisham Community Toilet scheme - which include cafes and businesses - will display window stickers in a clearly visible place. The stickers will include information such as whether there’s disabled access or baby change facilities. You don‘t need to buy anything to use their toilet facilities.
Markets and High Street FAQs
What’s happening with the markets?
Lewisham’s historic market will be transformed to support local traders, encourage visitors and create a welcoming space for the community to enjoy.
Traders and shoppers will benefit from a new market layout with improved stalls and plans for a permanent canopy over the market, providing space for more traders and creating opportunities for events, pop up stalls and an evening market.
Funding will also be used to improve the area around the market with new lighting, better pavements, more trees and planting and a refurbishment of the iconic Grade II listed Clock Tower.
What’s the impact on market traders?
We're working with market traders to make sure plans benefit traders and shoppers and make the area a more pleasant place to visit, with minimal impact on footfall.
What’s happening with the public realm?
The high street will be improved to make it easier to get around the town centre and create a more pleasant environment for residents and visitors.
New trees and green pocket spaces will be installed, as well as more pedestrian crossings and improved cycle infrastructure. More lighting and CCTV will help ensure the high street is safer for residents.
Will the building works on the high street affect bus routes?
While we will try to minimise disruption for our residents and local businesses as much as possible, a certain amount is inevitable with a regeneration project of this scale. Traffic and bus routes through the town centre are likely to be affected temporarily. We will share further details as and when we have them.
Library, Culture and Business Hub FAQs
What is the Library, Culture and Business Hub?
Lewisham Library will be renovated to create a new culture and business hub and safeguard the future of this vital local service.
The refurbished library will improve the books and study space, improve the Archive and Heritage Services space and includes new community and office space, meeting rooms and workspace for local businesses and students, and a new cafe and hospitality offer.
Does this mean the library has to close?
Yes, the library will close temporarily from 16 September 2023 while we're doing the work.
When will it reopen?
In early 2026.
What’s happening to the services Lewisham Library offers?
Some of the services will be moved to other locations across the borough, but we've tried to keep them as close by as possible:
- the Archives and Local History service will move to the first floor of Catford Library
- an interim Click & Collect service will operate out of the Glass Mill Leisure Centre
- the Home Library Service will carry on as usual
We're also planning a programme of community-based partnership events for the local area.
What do I do if I need to return books or other items after Lewisham Library has closed?
You can return them to any of our other libraries across the borough.
Where are the nearest libraries?
- Deptford Lounge – 20min by bus, or 35min walk
- Catford Library – 15min by bus, or 25min walk
- Manor House Community Library – 15min by bus, or 18min walk
More information about Lewisham Libraries.
Will there be a temporary library in Lewisham Town Centre?
No. But the library service has an exciting programme of events and activities across the whole borough.
What’s happening to the staff at the library?
We'll be relocating library staff across the three remaining Hub Libraries (Catford, Deptford, and Downham).
We expect that this will have a positive impact and will allow to resume some of the engagement work we were doing pre-pandemic, including outreach to schools, increased activities in our buildings, and increased collaborations with partners.
Where will the ward surgeries be held?
Local councillors for Lewisham Central, Cllr Aliya Sheikh and Cllr Edison Hunyh will hold their surgeries at alternate venues, to be confirmed.