Chingford Features

Chingford children help redesign town centre

With support from Civic Futures, the Echo reported on how tens of thousands of Covid recovery funding was spent in the borough
By Victoria Munro

Designs created by local children for Albert Crescent (credit: WF Council)
Designs created by local children for Albert Crescent (credit: WF Council)

Chingford Mount children have helped redesign their own town centre to make it more child-friendly.

Waltham Forest Council has planned for some years to revamp the area to realise its “full potential”, focusing plans around the suggested pedestrianisation of Albert Crescent.

The council was awarded £50,000 in Covid recovery funding by the Greater London Authority, led by Mayor Sadiq Khan, to explore radical new ways of involving local young people in this process.

The money was used to work with the three schools closest to the town centre – Lime Academy Larkswood, Chingford Foundation School and South Chingford Foundation School – to create designs for the area.

A new vision for Albert Crescent (credit: WF Council)

An officer from the council’s regeneration team told the Echo: “We’ve never included young people in designing like this before and the idea was that this could be an example for other town centres.

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“We picked Chingford Mount because it’s a location where we expect a lot of development in the next ten to 15 years and because there have been anti-social behaviour issues there.

“We also found out a surprising number of the children prefer to go Stratford Westfield rather than their own local high street.

“The council is focusing on making Albert Crescent a hub for street markets and events and we have promised the children their plans will be used as part of that.

(Credit: WF Council)

“The key things for them were Wi-Fi, a place to sit, phone charging points and features they can play with. They came up with an interesting design that’s like a porch swing.”

The council collected the children’s stories about visiting Chingford Mount, which will be turned into tiles in the pavement so that children “can see themselves in Chingford Mount and feel like it belongs to them as well.”

However, before these plans can be realised, the council will need to secure an estimated £250,000 in funding and would consult the entire community on their final designs.

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