Hundreds of Tolworth residents have responded enthusiastically to a project to transform the area initiated by Kingston Council.
Kingston Council and The Community Brain, a project delivery company, are to start ‘SHEDx’, a community-led regeneration project awarded nearly £400,000 by Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.
Councillor David Cunningham, cabinet member with responsibility for Regeneration at Kingston Council, said: “People in Tolworth have become increasingly aware and responsible for the locality. I am glad they are taking initiative to transform their area. We have received more than 450 responses with ideas that residents want to take further action on and we support every bit of it.
“This outcome demonstrates Kingston’s commitment to growth. SHEDx will ensure that those who live and work in Tolworth will have the opportunity to play their own part in shaping the regeneration and transformation of this area which is outlined in our emerging Tolworth Area Plan.”
The project as planned initially will include a festival showcasing the history of Corinthian Casuals Football Club which calls Tolworth home along with night markets and mobile sheds aimed to encourage residents to reimagine the spaces around them.
Robin Hutchinson, director of The Community Brain, said: “It has been over a month since we got this opportunity. We are already working towards the project and it will be soon launched.
“We hope to create the opportunities to enable the people to realise their dreams and ambitions. It will build upon the work we are already doing to enable more people to join in.”
Hutchinson said that this has proved to be a remarkable demonstration of faith from the Greater London Authority in plans to engage the communities of Tolworth in reimagining the area and ensuring that their voices have an active say in their futures.
Kingston Council partnered with The Community Brain, which is also behind community events such as Surbiton ski and the Seething festival, to develop a funding application for the Tolworth Area Plan, which reflects the council’s attempt to include public opinion and support community organisations in the borough.
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The mayor and I are determined to use the Good Growth Fund to challenge preconceptions about how regeneration takes place.”
This comes from the Greater London Authority (GLA’s) Good Growth Fund, a £70 million regeneration programme. Mayor Sadiq Khan’s goal is to escalate community development in London.
Kingston Council also recently secured a £50,000 grant to support stakeholder engagement and research for another project called ‘Re-imagining Kingston Town Centre’, which aims to make the area more supportive to the public as the retail business is under threat from the rise of internet shopping.
The programme is expected to launch later in the year and will run for a year.