The Blue is Bermondsey’s historic town centre and still plays an important part of everyday life for those who live, work, or visit but for the Blue to be once more the thriving centre of civic and commercial life that can better serve the local community it needed improvements. It is expected that once the designs are approved the works will begin in late October 2020 and a clearer, better defined public realm and market space for the Blue Market, which will be greener and more inviting, whilst being robust and easy to maintain.Read more...
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.
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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 Objectives – This programme relates to all three strategic challenges:
EMPOWERING LOCAL PEOPLE – GROWING PROSPERITY – MAKING BETTER PLACES.
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
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
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
Redrafted application submitted to GLA
Funding application successful
GLA site visit / tour of the Blue
Steering group formed
Project governance structure agreed
Shortlist of ten architects drawn up
Architects site visit / tour of the blue
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
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