Levelling Up department tours Lewisham Gateway
Senior officers from the Department for Levelling Up, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and the London Borough of Lewisham took the opportunity to tour around the second and final phase at Lewisham Gateway, the transformational mixed-use scheme in the heart of Lewisham, being delivered by national urban regenerator, Muse Developments, Get Living and contractor Balfour Beatty.
Lewisham Gateway one of the South East’s largest mixed-use regeneration schemes that will deliver over 1,000 new homes, along with a retail and leisure offering not seen in the area before. With the scheme making use of public-sector land and with support from the Housing Infrastructure Fund and GLA, the site visit allowed attendees to see how a strong and long-standing public/private partnership is transforming a crucial brownfield site.
As partners make progress towards its 2023 completion, visitors donned their hard hats to review the significant progress being made in the construction of new homes, leisure facilities, a new park and cinema at the heart of Lewisham. Representatives from the partnership delivering the scheme (Muse, Get Living and Balfour Beatty) were delighted to show the visitors how public funds are being used efficiently to deliver tangible benefits to the community through housing, leisure and infrastructure.
The £252m build-to-rent led forward funding deal, agreed during the pandemic, was the largest of its kind in London in 2020, highlighting investor confidence in the major regeneration scheme.
The construction of the project continues apace and the site visit included an explanation of the approach the project team has taken to deliver the site safely within government guidelines through the pandemic. Notably, project partners shared how they have made progress through the last challenging year, including through:
• Proactively adopting guidance on adapting construction site practice to Covid-19
• Innovation on-site to avoid unnecessary delays
• Staggered working times to maintain social distancing
• Investment into additional Covid marshals for the site
Beyond bricks and mortar benefits, the project team are also determined to leave a legacy in the area by working with Lewisham Council to equip members of the community with skills and opportunities that will support them into employment and help them gain qualifications, a vital lifeline for some in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included the employment of 41 local people, supporting local education and providing training to local businesses on topics such as mental health first aid. To date, the scheme has spent over £56,000,000 with local businesses and employed local people in over 132 FTE roles.
Chris Coxall, projects director at Muse Developments, said: “Here at Lewisham Gateway, we’re so proud of the progress we’ve made in delivering the project so far. This partnership of developers, local government and the GLA demonstrates the fantastic results that can be achieved when the private and public sector work together to repurpose towns and cities, drive inward investment, opportunities and prosperity for all. We believe the success of the scheme is truly demonstrating the viability of such partnerships and we’re delighted to show our guests around today.”
Ailish Christian-West, Director of Real Estate at Get Living reflected on the visit:
“We were thrilled with our visitors’ interest in how Lewisham Gateway phase two is going to meet local, quality housing and infrastructure needs. We can’t wait until 2023 to get people living, working, and spending time in this fantastic development.”