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Six projects awarded a share of more than £135,000 to support local high streets

7 July 2023

Exciting events, business support and healthy food vouchers are among the successful proposals that have been awarded a share of Southwark Council’s High Street Funding this summer.

The council’s Thriving High Streets Fund supports projects to keep our high streets thriving, with grants from £1,000 to £25,000 for businesses and voluntary sector groups. The money is awarded to projects that met two of four criteria; offered support during the Cost of Living Crisis, helped make Southwark greener, created healthy and safe high streets and/or complemented the council’s Southwark Stands Together priorities.

The six successful projects for the 2023 funding are:

  • The Alexander Rose project: funding Rose vouchers for families on low incomes to spend on healthy food in participating local shops and markets
  • Big Local Works: Creating two community ‘anchor’ stalls at The Blue market
  • Making Connections: An arts event series in Peckham’s Old Waiting Room
  • Peckham Palms: A programme of public wellbeing, music and food events to promote the Black and female owned businesses at Peckham Palms
  • Tree Shepherd: Events to support small Black and women-owned businesses in Canada Water
  • Urban Elephant: A cross cultural festival of contemporary street culture in and around Walworth Road, Elephant Park, Sayer Street and Castle Square

Cllr Martin Seaton, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills & Business, said: “Our high streets have faced a barrage of challenges over the last few years. Brexit, the cost of living crisis, and the impact of COVID-19 have all had an effect on our town centres and high streets one way or another.

“To help support our local businesses, Southwark Council made the protection and development of high streets a priority. We want to help businesses adapt to the challenges of the day and continue to grow and thrive in the future.”

John Whelan Artistic Director - Urban Elephant Festival, said: “We are really excited to have been funded by the Thriving High Streets Fund for this year's exciting Urban Elephant Festival 15 to 17 Sep. This will see our high streets in the Elephant and Castle animated with music, dance and performance in this free community arts festival.

“Our project is all about revitalising the streets of the Elephant and Castle and wider Walworth and help put the area on the map as a destination to live, work and enjoy. The Elephant used to be called the Piccadilly of the South and our aim with this funding is to enable it to become this again in the future.”

Paul Smyth, Director of Peckham Palms, said: "The Thriving High Streets Fund is a fantastic opportunity for Peckham Palms to promote the brilliant businesses based here and to connect with other organisations on Rye Lane to promote this unique area - one of London's greatest high streets. Our project will highlight Peckham’s world class reputation as a destination for Black hair stylists and highlight the growing number of West African food businesses and wellbeing businesses in the area.

“By bringing together music, food and hair styling we the fund will help to introduce more people to Peckham and showcase the important work we are doing to promote Black owned businesses at Peckham Palms."

Jonathan Pauling, Chief Executive of the Alexander Rose Charity said: “At Alexandra Rose Charity we give families weekly Rose Vouchers to help them afford fresh fruit and veg, so they can provide their children with a healthy diet. A key element of our project is supporting the local, healthy food economy, so we are delighted that a recent independent economic impact assessment of the project in Southwark showed that for every £1 Rose Voucher, £3.11 of value was created for the local economy.

“We want to make sure that markets and market traders can continue to support Southwark residents to access healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate fruit & veg in their local community. This fund will go a long way to helping us deliver on this mission.”

Sandra Ferguson, CEO of Tree Shepherd, said: This award will have a significant impact on our ability to continue to support local entrepreneurs, driving traffic to Canada Water and building on the partnership with British Land to deliver Thrive – the affordable workspace designed to support the establishment of local, independent businesses.”

Luds van den Belt, Manager of Big Local Works, said: "We are very excited to have received the positive news about the Thriving High Street fund. This will allow us to invest in the local economy and provide the Blue Market with two regular and guaranteed market stalls selling key local products and services that this community market needs. The additional stalls at the Blue will bring in, support, and encourage, variety and diversity of offering; as well as create local employment, increased footfall, associated events, and awareness of the Blue and the local high street.

It's a fantastic and exciting opportunity to grow the market and high street offering and provide a much-needed boost to the local area!"

Page last updated: 07 July 2023

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