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Elephant and Castle

Walworth Road study

In 2014, in response to recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the council commissioned GVA and East architects to carry out a Vitality, Viability and Vulnerability study (PDF, 5.9mb) into the Walworth Road and surrounding area.

The study assessed the existing strengths and weaknesses of the high street and looked forward to the opportunities and challenges that it was facing as a result of substantial development that had already taken place and was planned over coming decades.

While the report found that economic activity was generally healthy and businesses in Walworth were optimistic about changes ahead, a number of opportunities for intervention were identified, building upon the strong assets already in place. These opportunities included:

  • strengthening the East Street market and retail environment
  • supporting the existing diverse independent retailers
  • developing better pedestrian and cycle links between the Walworth Road and its hinterland, including the stations at Elephant and Castle

Planning and design considerations were also put forward to further strengthen the high street’s physical and commercial presence. 

Since the report, we've seen the following improvements made:

  • restoring existing market barrows and providing new replacements
  • branded street enhancements with new market furniture signage, gazebos and tote bags
  • Walworth Road market entrance improvements with catenary signage/lighting and a public art commission
  • improvements to Dawes Street market entrance (fence, signage and seating)
  • East Street shopfront improvements with new signage, awnings, repainting and graphics on shutters
  • decluttering and better signage for the public toilets on junction with Portland Street

The council is also working with the local community to develop the Walk Elephant initiative to secure further funding to improve the streetscene and trading environment across the opportunity area.

For further information, contact:

Dan Taylor
Programme manager
020 7525 5450

Page last updated: 11 April 2024


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