LOCAL PEOPLE GIVEN A CHANCE TO IMPROVE THEIR LOCAL AREA

The London Legacy Development Corporation is calling on community groups and design practices to come together with ideas to improve spaces around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Legacy Corporation’s Emerging East project is offering a range of commissions that will help forge connections to the Olympic Park by improving indoor and outdoor public spaces including local streets, parks, playgrounds and towpaths and encouraging design-led community activities and events.

Commissions of up to £9,000 for small projects and a few larger ones of up to £40,000 are available to transform disused or tired areas into thriving community spaces. Successful proposals will be developed through a series of workshops of community workshops.

Dennis Hone, interim Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“We are excited to see what kind of design proposals come forward because local communities know what their area needs better than anyone else.

“Projects like Emerging East are a fantastic way to involve local people in their own future, and spread the benefits of the Games into our surrounding communities.”

The Legacy Corporation aims to open the South Park in spring 2014, following the phased opening of the North Park from 27 July 2013 – exactly one year after the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.

The Legacy Corporation ran a similar scheme on a smaller scale last year. Mabley Meadow Users Group in Hackney is an example of one of the projects to benefit.

They applied for small grant to transform a rundown part of their neighbourhood into a public space and a wildlife haven. They used the grant to sow wildflower seeds, planted thousands of flower bulbs (including endangered British Bluebells), made beetle, bird and insect habitats, commissioned a set of hand-carved benches and ran a series of free workshops.

Since then, a free gardening club has been set up for local children, led by an expert gardener. The club has planted a small community orchard in the meadow, with pear, apple and cherry trees.

Christopher King, Chair of Mabley Green Users Group and Mabley Meadow project leader, said:

“The Legacy Corporation funding gave our project a fantastic boost. It not only gave us all the funding we needed for a whole year of activities, it meant we could do much more than we expected, for the benefit of more people than ever.

“Getting funding can be tricky, time-consuming and even stressful. One of the really great things about this grant is that the application process was personal and simple. It’s perfectly suited to grass-roots and volunteer groups – or anyone who wants to make something happen in their community.”

Details of how to apply can be found here. The deadline for submissions is Noon, November 16, 2012.