£50,000 scheme to tempt you back to Lewisham high streets

Lewisham high street Pic: Geograph

Twenty local businesses, charities and art organisations will benefit from a £50,000 scheme to get people back to Lewisham’s town centre and high streets.

The Town Centre Small Grant funds small projects that the Council hope will increase footfall on Lewisham’s high streets and help to rebuild the local economy post-covid.

Lewisham Council said they were “delighted” with the response they had received.

The grant comes from the Welcome Back Fund, a part of Lewisham’s Covid recovery plan.

Councillor Kim Powell, Cabinet member for Business and Community Wealth Building said: “Our independent businesses told us they rely mainly on in-person sales for their revenue. However, footfall levels are still felt to be considerably lower than they were pre-pandemic.”

Powell said that the grant was intended to get people back on the high streets to “shop safe, shop local.”

20 organisations will receive up to £2,500 each to support ongoing projects, such as local brewery Ignition’s Saturday Markets project, a monthly market on Sydenham Road with stalls available for local businesses.

The pop-up Migration Museum will use the money to spread awareness of their exhibit in Lewisham shopping centre, which consists of two sections of the Berlin Wall, as it is ending within the next week.

Another project is a new “welcome to Hatcham” mural to be painted on the post office in the Hatcham area of New Cross.

The Jack Studio on Brockley Road will host a two-week short film festival with five free screenings in March.

The Poetry Translation centre will have a Vietnamese poetry trail along Deptford high street, as well as an open day at the Albany theatre, where visitors can learn about creativity in translating works from other languages.

There are currently artistic workshops and exhibitions ongoing in Catford, funded in part by the grant, as well as local artists partnering with businesses to display their works in the lead up to an exhibition in Crofton Park.

Teatro Vivo, a local theatre company used their grant money to market performances they gave in pubs and outdoor spaces in Forest Hill throughout January.

Also, a pop-up exhibit will be at Lewisham shopping centre for six weeks to promote sustainable fashion and provide workshops on useful skills like sewing.

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