£24 million boost to revitalise Lewisham Town Centre
Lewisham Council has secured over £24 million to revitalise Lewisham Town Centre, after successfully bidding for money from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. Over £19m was awarded from the second round of the Levelling Up Fund to support improvements to the town centre, combined with £5m of additional match funding from the Council.
The money will be used to rejuvenate Lewisham Market, renovate Lewisham Library and make the high street greener, safer and better connected.
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 a permanent green 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.
Lewisham Library will be renovated to create a new cultural and business hub and safeguard the future of this vital local service. These renovations will include the provision of a new community space - ‘Lewisham Lounge’ - for socialising, exhibitions and cultural attractions, supporting Lewisham’s London Borough of Culture legacy. A new business hub in the library will also offer flexible office space, meeting rooms and workspaces, with a new café and rooftop bar improving the library’s hospitality offer and providing more spaces for local residents to enjoy.
The funding will also be used to make the high street greener, safer and better connected, with new access routes through the town centre, more pedestrian crossings, improved cycle infrastructure and new lighting and CCTV. These improvements will ensure the high street, market, library, shopping centre and key transport hubs are better linked, creating a more pleasant environment for residents and boosting footfall for local businesses. New trees, green pocket spaces and more electric vehicle charging points will also help improve air quality in the town centre and support the Council’s overarching mission to make Lewisham a net-zero borough by 2030.
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “This is fantastic news for Lewisham Town Centre. This money will enable us to make big improvements to the market, including a new canopy so it’s a nicer place to shop in all weather, a total refurbishment of our library, with plans for a new café and rooftop bar, restoring the historic clocktower, new pedestrian crossings and lots of new trees and plants. It’s going to make a significant difference.”
The bid received strong support from local partners and key stakeholders, including all three Lewisham MPs and local ward Councillors; educational institutions such as Goldsmiths and Lewisham College; community and cultural groups including Lewisham Local and the Migration Museum; and private sector partners such as Landsec, Get Living, South East London Chamber of Commerce and local market traders.
Following the funding announcement, the Council will continue working closely with residents, businesses, market traders, community groups and other local partners to develop the proposals and set out timescales for the various projects.