Newham New Deal for Communities: Shared Vision for the Future West Ham and Plaistow

21 August 1999

  • The debate panel
  • Community consultation
  • Performance art
  • The Albany Works site
  • Delivery Plan 2000-2010 cover (document available at the AF)

Launched in 1998, New Deal for Communities was a government regeneration programme aimed at tackling worklessness; improving health; tackling crime; and raising educational achievement in the most deprived neighbourhoods. In 1999 The Architecture Foundation were asked by the Newham NDC to find out what people thought should change in their local area to make their lives better.

The Architecture Foundation took responsibility for the overall co-ordination and facilitation of the programme of public events to generate ideas for the future. Community introduction meetings involved residents in planning and organising the design festival days.

The festivals at Plaistow, Woodlands Community Centre (West Ham) and Eastlea School (Canning Town) centred around large-scale ideas models of each area upon which people were encouraged to leave their concerns and ideas on post-it notes. Canvass cards were also filled in to get more subjective feel for what people thought. At the two latter events the community themselves were responsible for organising a range of fun activities to get people along that included five-a-side football, fairground attractions and a sound stage at Eastlea where budding musicians could perform publicly.

Fluid Design were asked to produce a broad issue-based strategy for the area, including specific scenarios (the identification of particular projects that could be delivered during the 10 year programme). Maccreanor Lavington continued with the consultation work that had been carried out in Plaistow Station and its surroundings. This involved the production of a more worked-up set of design proposals for the area.