Funding for high streets

Mon 18 January 2016, 2:40 pm

Barking town centre is to receive a facelift, due to investment from the London mayor’s High Street Fund.

Barking and Dagenham Council has received £291,000 from the mayor, which is part of its £1.4 million high street improvement programme for East Street and Barking Market.

The programme includes delivering new paving, street lighting and infrastructure for the high street, which the council says will help bring it up to the standard of adjacent spaces in the town centre, such as Short Blue Place and Barking Town Square.

Funding will be mainly used for improvements to the management, layout and overall appearance of Barking Market. 

In addition to the public realm improvements, a revised back-to-back stall layout down the centre of the high street is being designed to create a more structured appearance and improve pedestrian accessibility to high street shops and spaces.

High Street Fund money has also delivered The Barking Food Court, a pop-up restaurant and cinema based in the former Magistrates Court on East Street, a Grade-II listed building, which has remained empty for several years and is currently being redeveloped for residential and retail use.

Created by design practice The Decorators and artist Verity-Jane Keefe, The Barking Food Court delivered a programme of food, film and discussion aimed at bringing a new, alternative offer to the town centre during the last week of November, into early December. 

Students from the nearby Technical Skills Academy built bespoke furniture and decorated the courthouse space, while lunchtimes and evenings were hosted by different local restaurants and food vendors alongside a programme of themed films and evening activities which celebrated the borough and east London in general.

The Barking Food Court has subsequently helped showcase the building and generate interest from prospective commercial occupants and may continue into the New Year prior to the commercial units being let.  

 

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