Published: Wednesday, 16th August 2023
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is starting work next month on an exciting range of improvements to make Woolwich town centre’s main market and high street a more vibrant place to live, work and shop.
The improvements include:
- Powis Street: giving the street a refresh by removing clutter, installing new paving, more planting to complement the tree-lined street, public seating, new play spaces and better lighting.
- Beresford Square: transforming the market and creating a more flexible and friendly public space with a new urban garden, terraced seating, lighting and an interactive water fountain.
- Market pavilion: a striking new market pavilion building with a café, seating, lush planting, play spaces for children and fully accessible public toilets with a changing places facility.
- Royal Arsenal Gatehouse: working with the Greenwich Enterprise Board to reopen the gates of the Grade II listed Royal Arsenal Gatehouse for the first time in nearly 25 years, and lighting the building at night to create an attractive focal point in the town centre.
Nearly £25 million funding for the work, and other improvements to Woolwich town centre, has been awarded from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Future High Street Fund (FHSF) and Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), complemented by match funding from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Cllr Aidan Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “The Council has ambitious plans for Woolwich town centre to make it a greener, safer, more attractive place for people to shop, and spend their time and money. We’ve listened to residents, market traders and businesses and we share their aspirations for the area. Our vision for Beresford Square will create a more defined but flexible and useful public space with new public toilets, café, urban garden and refreshed street market.
“We’ve already launched the Woolwich Front Room, refurbished Tramshed theatre, opened Woolwich Works, started work on a state-of-the-art leisure centre, and unveiled a series of colourful murals across the town centre. I’m looking forward to seeing work get underway on Beresford Square and Powis Street as well, to provide the high quality public spaces our residents deserve.”
Cllr Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, said: “Our improvements will reintroduce the historic layout of Beresford Square with a flowing line of market stalls which will free up space for socialising, eating and drinking. We are also giving the Old Town Hall on Calderwood Street a new lease of life to become a high quality workspace for creative businesses, and through Woolwich Lates we are supporting the nighttime economy.”
Preparation works to the town centre are now underway, setting up facilities for the Council’s contractors, before work starts in mid-September.
The Council is working closely with local businesses and market traders to keep them updated about the improvements. Market stalls will be relocated temporarily to General Gordon Square and Green’s End, allowing them to continue trading during the works. Businesses and traders will have the opportunity to attend drop-in sessions with the Council and its contractors throughout the construction process, where they can get information and advice.
Residents and businesses can sign up for project updates at royalgreenwich.gov.uk/woolwich-updates