The literary piazza will see the currently under-used area next to Sydenham Community Library and the entrance to Home Park redeveloped into a welcoming, attractive and usable public space. The consortium includes; the Friends of Home Park, the Friends of Sydenham Community Library, Beep Studio Ltd, Rich Regeneration, Eco Computer Systems, Sydenham Society, Glass House Community Led Design, SEE3 Town Team and Lewisham Council.
They were successful in obtaining a grant of £37,500 from the Mayor of London’s Pocket Parks Programme which gives grants to communities to improve streets, squares, parks, and canal and riverside spaces. Lewisham Council will match fund the grant, meaning the project will now have a total of £75,000.
The funding will be used to cut back overgrown shrubs and install new plants and new seating for people to sit and relax. Old pathways will be rebuilt and a new cycle path will be created. Sydenham Community Library will be able to use the piazza as an ‘outdoor classroom’ for educational and cultural activities and the proposed Sydenham Community Library café will expand into the piazza so that food and drink can also be enjoyed outside. The group also hopes that the new and improved piazza will attract the interest of farmers’ and other specialist markets and encourage more people to shop locally.
Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “Lewisham Council does not underestimate the importance of investing in our borough’s public spaces, as doing so makes our neighbourhoods safer and more attractive to use. We have longstanding plans to improve Home Park, and this funding gives us the opportunity to upgrade a vital green space earlier than previously planned for our Bellingham and Sydenham residents.”