Ideas generated by local residents to improve Queen’s Market will be brought to life following the appointment of a team of designers.
Newham Council and the Greater London Authority are investing £5.3m in Upton Park’s famous and much loved Queen’s Market and are seeking direct input from local residents and traders with ideas that will create more opportunities for local residents and businesses, including much needed jobs.
The money has come via the Mayor of London’s Good Growth fund totalling £3.2m, alongside £2.15m from the Council reflecting the most significant investment in the area for a generation. Following a procurement process, the Council has now appointed three experienced architectural practices to work with local residents, Queen’s Market traders, retailers and shoppers to co-design the projects and bring to life the ideas they chose for the market and surrounding area, as part of an ambitious programme of revitalising one of the borough’s most important retail and shopping areas.
Local residents, market traders, retailers and shoppers have signed up to be part of the working groups to share their knowledge and views to help shape the priority projects identified in previous rounds of engagement with the community.
The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “This investment demonstrates the importance of Queen’s Market to our borough. It will ensure that it receives all the love and attention it deserves, as for too long it had been diminished as the jewel in Newham’s crown. All these projects combined with the significant investments we are making in Green Street, such as the Shape Newham, and Newham High Streets programmes, are showing the positive transformation under way across the borough that we are driving to benefit all our residents; and deliver our 15 minute neighbourhoods Covid-19 recovery plans.
“Our ‘Towards a Better Newham’ strategy and action plan places inclusive growth, quality jobs and fairness at the heart of our recovery plans, and we’ll continue to work closely with residents and businesses to ensure that together we deliver the very best outcomes our local community deserve.”
Three architectural practices, two of which are East London based, have been appointed to lead this programme: JA Projects, Architecture 00 and Office S&M. These design teams, along with the Council will lead the co-design and engagement process working closely with local residents, Queen’s Market traders, retailers and shoppers.
JA Projects will lead the design proposals for improving the way Queen’s Market works, looks and feels; they will also produce designs for the greening and revitalising of Queen’s Square as a place to socialise and relax. JA Projects are experts in using architecture, art and performance to work with communities to realise projects.
Office S&M already developed plans for the Green Room – a space where the local community can come together to share their ideas and experiences, that will then help to inform the creative and wellbeing programme that meets residents’ needs, and a café. Along with local co-design specialist Sahra Hersi, and wellbeing specialists Ekkist, they will design the next phase of the community hub – including a gallery space and artists’ studios.
Finally, Architecture 00 will be designing new affordable workspace on nearby Rochester Avenue. This will provide new opportunities for local enterprises to establish themselves in the heart of Green Street, strengthening its vibrancy and attractions.
The funding, is key to securing the future of the market and improving the area, a significant community asset to Newham, and the Council is committed to protecting it for the next generations.
The projects are being progressed with residents, market traders and shoppers who will be an integral part of the co-design process. The culture of these places and the people who use and rely on them will be at the heart of everything we do so together we will get it right
Jayden Ali, Director of JA Projects said: “As an East Londoner my memories of Queen’s Market are a mix of different sounds, smells, textiles and people. It’s this type of richness that is the potential of the wider Queens Market and Green Street project – to support and enrich the variety of cultures that can be found on any given day. We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to work with, and build on the amazing work by Newham to make this pocket of the borough better for residents, businesses and visitors alike. Through
collaboratively designing alongside the various communities that already make Queen’s Market and Green Street special, we’ll deliver a project that speaks to and for the population it is to serve.”
Alice Fung, Co-Founder and Director of Architecture 00, said: “Delivery of an affordable workspace for Queen’s Market and Green Street is an exciting opportunity to raise the bar of local workspace provision to meet the creativity and entrepreneurship of young people across Newham. We welcome this chance to combine our experience of designing, delivering, and operating affordable workspace across London Boroughs with the originality of the local community.
“We hope that the collaborative design process, embarked upon by this cohort of design teams, can build on the work already carried out by Newham Council and embed the project within the local communities; and as such, that the project can provide access to an innovative space which empowers tenants and fosters the creation of communities through environmental, social, and economic resilience.”
Hugh McEwen, Founder of Office S&M, said: Our team lives and works in Newham and has friends and family here, meaning we’re deeply committed to the positive outcome of the largest investment in the area for two decades. To do this we have brought together a team with specialist skills that are a perfect match for the creative wellbeing space.”