Creating a better place
You told us that regeneration in the borough was your top priority. You wanted better high streets and leisure facilities. So at the beginning of 2013 we promised we would start to deliver on our regeneration commitments, and as you will have seen over the last year we really are delivering our ambition of creating a better place by; enhancing nine high street areas, refurbishing 28 play areas, improving all of our leisure centres and bringing a cinema to the borough.
We secured over £160million of investment in 2013 and expect that to rise to over £700million as we move towards 2018. Continuing to deliver growth will be a challenge given the current economic climate, however we know that by forging strong partnerships we can create a borough where people want to live, work, play and invest.
The next four years will see dramatic changes in the shape of Waltham Forest with our large regeneration projects providing a catalyst for growth and bringing opportunities for both business and employment in the borough. Please bear with us during this time, although some disruption will be unavoidable we promise you it will be well worth it in the long run.
A summary of the projects is available on these web pages with details about the developments and key dates. We will continue to update you through Waltham Forest News and online.
Better High Streets
As part of our plan to give residents better high streets we're improving streets and shop fronts throughout 2013/14. This work has already transformed parts of Leyton and Walthamstow (for which we've received national coverage), and we're be doing the same in:
- Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow
- South Chingford
- Francis Road, Leyton
- Higham Hill, Walthamstow
- Lea Bridge Road and Bakers Arms
- South Leyton
- South Leytonstone
- Wood Street
These works will help to make the borough look better, encourage business and give local people neighbourhoods they can take pride in.
Lea Bridge Station
Bringing a cinema to the borough
2013 saw major initiatives change the very fabric of our town centres. The cornerstone of these will be the Arcade Site development in Walthamstow. £30million investment will bring homes, shops, jobs and a long-awaited cinema to the borough, which we know is top of our residents' wish list. The cinema is expected to open Winter 2014.
Walthamstow Central Station development
In February 2014, the £20million Walthamstow Central Station development is scheduled to be completed, bringing homes, jobs and a new hotel to Waltham Forest.
Elsewhere, 2013 saw the multi-million pound refurbishment of our leisure centres begin in earnest. Leyton Gym, Walthamstow Leisure Centre and Leyton Leisure Lagoon were refurbished and work is underway at Cathall Leisure Centre whilch will be renamed as part of the process, whilst Waltham Forest Pool and Track will be rebuilt, providing excellent facilities for future generations of sports stars.
Parks and open spaces
We're also intent on improving every single one of the borough's parks, with Leyton Jubilee Park and Drapers Field receiving major work as well as updating play equipment and surfacing at 28 playgrounds across the borough. Four of our libraries are also set for an overhaul.
More information on Better Leisure
We know that a good education is the single most important factor in ensuring our children have brighter futures. Good schools also mean families laying down roots rather than moving away - a key factor when improving the local economy.
We are improving schools in the borough as well as providing school places to meet the current and future demand with over £50million secured to improve these in 2013 and an additional £22million for 2014.
More information on Better Schools
The Council has a key role to play in ensuring there is quality housing available for residents at every stage of their lives, and that this is supported by facilities that residents can use and enjoy to make Waltham Forest their home.
More information on Better Housing
Attracting developers and investors
The Council has a key role to play in regenerating the borough and bringing in the amenities you need. We do this by setting out clear policies and a strategy for how the borough should develop, ensuring that development fits with the borough's planning policies. We also encourage investment and bid for external funding to improve the borough, and have produced a Developer's Guide to help attract investment in Waltham Forest.
As you can see, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us. 2013 is the year we really begin to deliver on the major regeneration promises we've made to our residents.
There will be opportunities for you to get involved in what’s happening so please do have your say and help us make our borough a better place to live in.
Although not all the changes can happen overnight, we will keep you up to date on the work we are doing and when you will see changes start to happen through Waltham Forest News and on these web pages.