Forest Hill and Sydenham win Portas Pilot bid

Sydenham and Forest Hill have succeeded in their bid to win "Portas Pilot" funding to rejuvenate their high streets. They will be given £100,000 to deliver three projects designed to increase high street occupancy and footfall.

The Forest Hill Society describes the three schemes:

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

Shop Revolution
A high impact project with lasting sustainable benefits will renovate up to 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.

Market Makers
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.

Congratulations to the team behind the slickly-produced bid. It will be fascinating to watch the projects develop - hopefully there will be many lessons to be learned from their experience.

The BBC reports that the full list of pilot areas includes:

Ashford; Berwick; Braintree; London Road in Brighton; Hatfield; Royal Leamington Spa; Lodge Lane in Liverpool; the Cut in the Waterloo area of central London; Forest Hill in south London; Chrisp Street, Watney Market, Roman Road in Tower Hamlets, east London; Loughborough; Lowestoft; Morecambe; Rotherham, and Tiverton. 

The funding for the three London areas is to be provided by the Greater London Authority, while the government will put up the remaining £1.2m.