Chingford Leyton Leytonstone News Walthamstow

Three ‘local festivals’ planned around borough in next two summers

The current plan is to host festivals in Walthamstow, Leyton and either Chingford or Leytonstone
By Victoria Munro

Local summer festival Walthamstow Garden Party was cancelled earlier this year (credit: Penny Dampier)
Local summer festival Walthamstow Garden Party was cancelled earlier this year (credit: Penny Dampier)

A “local festival” will take place in Chingford or Leytonstone next summer, as Waltham Forest Council tests its plan to turn the borough’s neighbourhoods into marketable “destinations”. 

Following the pilot festival next summer, two further festivals will be held in Walthamstow and Leyton in the summer of 2024.

A report prepared for a meeting of council leaders last week states the festivals will “celebrate the individuality of residents and the neighbourhood”, while also drawing in visitors and trade for creative businesses. 

It adds that there is “an option to extend to further dates and locations based on the success of the pilot event”, as the current plan means at least one of the four neighbourhoods would not host a festival. 

The report reads: “Working with local partners and independent creative enterprises, the local festival is built from the ground up to celebrate the individuality of residents and the neighbourhood it exists within. 

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“Using the festival to engage local people through action and activities within the festival, we provide a real-world example of what is possible in their neighbourhood providing an experience of what is to come in the future.”

The Leyton festival will take place in Coronation Gardens at the same time as work on the first phase of the Coronation Square housing development is due to finish in order to “inform [the] wider development”. 

The first phase of construction will see 429 of the planned 750 homes built, alongside a “health hub”, nursery, market square and commercial units.

A “Walthamstow Fringe” festival will take place in the same summer to launch the council’s vision of the area as a “cultural quarter”, which hinges heavily around the opening of Soho Theatre Walthamstow in the spring of that year. 

Earlier this year, Walthamstow’s long-running free summer festival – the Walthamstow Garden Party – came to an abrupt end without “any discussion or warning”.

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