Community unites to revitalise The Blue

Made in Bermondsey is the name chosen for 2m regeneration programme to revitalise the Blue, Bermondsey’s historic town centre.

A community campaign led by Blue Bermondsey BID with local charities Community Opportunity and Big Local Works was successful in securing the £2m capital funding from the Mayor of London’s LEAP Good Growth Fund after forward thinking staff at Southwark Council suggested a joint submission and helped to shape the application.

Locally based Turner prize winning collective, Assemble and architects Hayatsu have been appointed to deliver the programme and in June 2019 produced draft designs for the first phase of the project, which were revised alongside ongoing work with the partner groups.


The Made in Bermondsey Community-Led Regeneration Programme aims to transform the Blue into a thriving area, once more recognised and celebrated as Bermondsey’s historic town centre. 

Additionally the project will build upon The Blue’s identity as the Larder of London, cemented by legendary brands such as Peek Freans biscuits and Branston Pickle and recognise the emerging range of local 21st century food production businesses, centred around a thriving and authentic local market hosting the cream of new makers, regular cultural events alongside a thriving High St and a booming local business community.

Meet The Community Partners


Meet The Design Team

Hayatsu Architects are acting as lead consultant for a multi-disciplinary team comprising Turner Prize-winning art and architecture collective Assemble, graphic designer StinsenSqueeze, landscape architects Jonathan Cook, high street retail specialist Retail Revival, lighting designer Studio Dekka, structural engineer Price & Myers and quantity surveyor Gleeds.

“Our proposal is a series of careful adjustments to the existing urban fabric, creating new cut through routes and removing barriers to make a better connection to the market place from surrounding areas. Strategically locating new way-finding signage and community murals along the way from various key local businesses such as the food production facilities under the railway arches and a workspace complex the Biscuit Factory, the project aims to increase the footfall to the market and stitch the site into the wider network of existing and future developments.

The market place will be overhauled as a rediscovered town centre, by improving the infrastructure for electrics and storage provisions, and making visible existing civic assets such as local library and TRA hall. A new Village Green area is proposed to enhance the greenery of the market place where people can sit and relax or hold special events organised by the community to celebrate the local spirit. 

Being located only five minute away from the market place, the design team harnesses the spirit of local production by actively involving the community and manufacturers in the making of the place. Bermondsey lions drawn by market visitors form a new graphic identity and hand embossed tin cladding tiles form a new material language for a market cross structure, creating focal point in the square, embodying the pride of community and marking a visible identity for the Blue”.    

Project Summary

Project Objectives  – This programme relates to all three strategic challenges:


The key actions are:

Develop civic infrastructure and deliver community-led regeneration

Developing and implementing an holistic area based renewal strategy for the Blue Market

Revitalising the high street, public realm and community assets

Enhancing the experience and multi-functionality of local high street

Create new walking and cycling links, enhanced with better signage and wayfinding

Intensify London’s local economies by backing and supporting small business

Meanwhile use of empty premises for business incubator, social enterprise and community purposes

Developing new models of shared use for business incubation, makers, social enterprise, charities, community

Promoting skill sharing and vocational training

Enhance public spaces

Supporting Council’s new asset management strategy for publicly owned commercial property

Refurbishing and community assets and promoting local management in area

Delivering affordable shared spaces

Share culture

Bringing wider community together around common spaces, promoting collaboration, social integration

More Planting and greening and promoting health and wellbeing

Events celebrating local culture, community art and murals

Co-design and co-production

The funding is allocated to be used for:

Improvements to Market Place

Improvements to High St Shop Fronts

Improvements to Community Buildings

Creating Pop Up Shops in Empty Units

Supporting New Local Business

Improving Grot Spots With More Greening And Murals

New Walking And Cycling Routes

Better Signage And Wayfinding To The Blue

Project Timeline

June 2017 – July 2018

Blue market vision and strategy project by Blue Bermondsey BID and Southwark Council.

Initial expression of preliminary interest submitted to GLA – Development of application and supporting information

January – February 2018

Draft list of ‘shopping’ items drawn up for potential funding

Draft regeneration strategy and theory of change produced

Draft application produced by all partners and stakeholders

June – July 2018

Final regeneration strategy theory of change and application

Southwark Council agree to support application

GLA contacted and support application

Expression of interest submitted to GLA

Initial meeting with GLA to get feedback on application

Final application submitted

Application gets provisional approval subject to GLA recommendations

August – September 2018

Blue market vision and strategy project report produced

Application redrafted based on GLA feedback

October 2018

Redrafted application submitted to GLA

December 2018

Funding application successful

January 2019

GLA site visit / tour of the Blue

March 2019

Steering group formed

Project governance structure agreed

Shortlist of ten architects drawn up

April 2019

Project begins

Architects site visit / tour of the blue

Architects interviews

May 2019

Appointment of Hayatsu Architects and Assemble

Initial scoping of area by architects

June – July 2019

Draft designs and development phase

July – August 2019

Ongoing consultation with partner groups

September – October 2019

Initial designs concepts presented to steering group

Public consultation period

November – December  2019

Consultation input collated and considered

January – February 2020

Planning consent and tender of works

March 2020 – March 2021


Project Quotes

We are very pleased to be a part of this exciting programme. We have a strong interest in local people being involved in making parts of their local spaces themselves and will definitely be looking to Bermondsey’s fascinating industrial and social history for inspiration. Watch this space!

– Mat Leung – Assemble

We are delighted to have been appointed to work on this important and ground breaking community-led regeneration programme at the Blue. We look forward to working closely with the local community.

– Takeshi Hayatsu – Hayatsu Architects

“I am hugely excited at the appointment of Hayatsu and Assemble as masterplanners of the Blue, and can’t wait to see the fruits of their work with the community over the coming months to help restore this important and historic high street back to glory, and create a thriving destination for the people of Bermondsey to shop, socialise and enjoy their time”.

– Cllr Leo Pollak – Ward Cllr, Chair of the Community Steering Group and Cabinet Member, High Street Planning

“Our local high streets, town centres and markets are the life’s blood of the borough and at Southwark we want to help all our local businesses thrive. I am excited to be working with such a dedicated group of local people to put this historic part of Bermondsey back on the map”.

– Cllr Stephanie Cryan – Cabinet Member for Jobs, Business and Innovation

“Winning this £2m funding is a fantastic achievement after years of hard work by everyone at the Blue. I’m really excited to see how the architects will work with local people and businesses to develop ideas and best use this funding to benefit our high street and wider community.”

– Russell Dryden – Blue Bermondsey BID Manager

Latest News

Events – What’s on

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic for public safety all events are cancelled.

Pop Up Shop

The pop up shop is closed due to Covid-19. However you can still visit online.

Online Shop

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Made in Bermondsey

10 Market Place
SE16 3UQ

Please contact our programme co-ordinator for more information:

Emma Snow 
07876 515194

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