Published: Wednesday, 22nd February 2023
Hundreds of residents and visitors came together in General Gordon Square for the first event of the Woolwich Lates programme, a special extended edition of family-friendly event Holiday Fun Friday.
Supported by funding from the Mayor of London’s Night Time Enterprise Zone, which the council secured last November, the fun-packed day went on until 8pm. The initiative is aimed at enlivening Woolwich town centre later into the evening, for the benefit of local businesses and residents.
Between 10am and 8pm, people got stuck into activities, games, and fair rides, and browsed the market stalls for crafts, gifts and street-food from all over the world.
The day culminated with two electrifying street theatre performances by Spark! LED drummers, lighting up the night sky with their glow-in-the-dark, laser-clad costumes. The group delighted people of all ages with a dynamic choreography and high-impact drumming as they paraded around the square.
The excitement was not limited to General Gordon Square. Around the corner, attendees enjoyed a bite to eat from Beresford Square Market or warmed up at one of the restaurants, cafes and bars nearby. Over at the Woolwich Front Room, on Powis Street, artist Sarah Schmidt taught people to make beautiful cards out of materials that would have otherwise been binned. People who wanted to carry on the fun past 8pm, headed to Tramshed for a comedy night and Coffee Lounge pizza.
Councillors Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy Business and Skills and Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities joined in and visited some of the businesses in the area.
Cllr Lolavar and Cllr Khaireh visit Kailash Momo restaurant and other businesses in Woolwich
Councillor Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, said:
“The first of our Woolwich Lates was a huge success. I was thrilled to see Woolwich town centre abuzz with people enjoying the high street and squares after 6pm. One of our key missions is ensuring our town centres, high streets and shopping parades are vibrant, prosperous, well-maintained places that meet the needs of local people and drive local economic growth. As we saw on Friday, and heard from businesses themselves, a well-managed, thriving evening-time economy plays a pivotal role in that.
“It's fantastic to be working with the Mayor of London, London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé and our local partners to try out new ideas, test innovative solutions, and work with our communities and businesses to make our high streets more accessible, inclusive, welcoming and prosperous after dark. I look forward to seeing more of these Lates events, which include Family, Fitness, Market, Retail and Arts Lates, brightening up Woolwich later into the evening.”
Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said:
“It was brilliant join so many residents and people from further afield out and about in Woolwich for Holiday Fun Friday. The cost of living crisis is not only making it harder to make ends meet but can also put pressure on social activities, and opportunities for connection, for many. Free events like this one, full of life, music, culture and colour, provide an inexpensive, stress-free way to get out and entertain the kids over the holidays, and are a chance for our community to come together to share, learn, have fun and meet other people”.
Councillors also popped over to say hello to the team at Tramshed, which was showcasing comedy on the night