Regeneration: Walthamstow High Street


Night Time Enterprise Zone Pilot Project

Walthamstow has been chosen by the Mayor of London as the first Night Time Enterprise Zone. This will be a pilot project jointly funded by the Mayor of London and Waltham Forest Council, each providing £75,000. Details of the proposals can be found here.

Walthamstow High Street is a vibrant, varied place of trade and focus for the Town’s communities and activities. Walthamstow town centre is changing, and the Council recognises the opportunity to facilitate positive, inclusive changes to ensure the future of the market.

The proposals for the High Street and Market aim to celebrate the unique character and heritage of the area, bringing out local stories and histories and creating moments of pause and intensity.


Walthamstow High Street is the commercial heart of the borough and hosts Europe’s longest street market and is next to The Mall shopping centre.

Find out more about the markets that take place in the High Street.

We are committed to supporting retailers to make the High Street attractive for shoppers.

Free Wi-Fi is now available in the High Street. To connect, look for the network _FREE_WF_WiFi when in one of the covered town centres. You’ll be asked to register with your email address before being able to connect to the internet – and then you’re all set to go.

What is planned?

Matter Architecture has been appointed to develop and deliver improvements to the High Street area with initial pilot interventions currently being developed for three locations along the High Street:

  • Rosebank Villas
  • Palmerston Road junction with Willow Walk and
  • Palace Mews and The Mall entrance area.

Design Competition

The first pilot project will be for the Rosebank Villas route through a design competition, run in partnership with Matter Architecture. Artists, architects, designers and creatives from all backgrounds were invited to submit expressions of interest to participate in the competition for an implementable temporary artistic intervention at this highly visible spot to celebrate the character and unique history of the High Street and Market and make a visible contribution to the public realm.

 The proposals should:

  • Celebrate the history of the High Street and Market and reflect local character of place
  • Strengthen local identity, create a destination and a sense of arrival
  • Be deliverable and robust, and self-sufficient in terms of maintenance
  • Be innovative place-making which improves connectivity and navigation to the high street
  • Enhance the space for businesses, residents and visitors alike

Twelve expressions of interest were submitted by the deadline of noon on Tuesday 28 August.  

A shortlist of six participants were chosen and each presented their ideas for interventions to the public on Sunday 16 September at the HighTide Festival site in Walthamstow Town Square.

The six shortlisted submissions came from:

  1. Barbara Weiss Architects
  2. BAT Studio
  3. Edward Crooks
  4. Farah Ishaq
  5. Kevin Smeeing  
  6. Neil Irons

People attending that meeting voted the concept put forward by Edward Crooks (pictured) as their favourite scheme.

Following the vote by the public on the six presentations the panel examined all six proposals and also chose the same concept - Walthamstow Supernova put forward by Ed Crooks, which will now be developed into a design that can be delivered.

The £2,000 prize money is a fixed fee for Ed Crooks to research the materials, colour scheme and installation process so that it forms an integral part of the improvements to Walthamstow High Street and market.

Matter Architecture will work with Ed as he develops his project so that it fits into the overall strategy for the High Street area.

Download the Design Competition Brief (4.8MB PDF file)

The Design Competition is Supported by the National Lottery funded Great Place Scheme through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Further details

More information is available from:
  • Waltham Forest Council’s Regeneration Programme Manager, Zoë Sellers.
  • Waltham Forest Council’s Stakeholder Relations and Community Engagement Manager, Keith Brown.