Forgotten parades of Cricket Green
To connect business with the opportunities of a growing population through projects to enhance the key shopping parades in Mitcham Cricket Green to underpin the area’s regeneration & economic revival.
The objective is to provide a prioritised range of interventions which will improve levels of social interaction, help connect business to their fast changing market as a result of rapid demographic change & enhance the public realm in these important but overlooked centres of economic activity. This will be achieved by working with the local community and businesses to identify ways of making the parades more welcoming, distinctive, diverse and successful. It includes resources to deliver two early initiatives identified through the process to help build future momentum.
The project will provide the starting point for investment to make the Cricket Green parades more welcoming, distinctive and diverse and to help business grow and flourish – in line with the Mayor of London’s Action for High Streets. It will also create new and strengthened connections between local businesses, the community and the local authority to steward the future of the Cricket Green parades.
What we’ll do:
- Local engagement: business, community groups, users & residents agree priorities together through face to face events
- Baseline: establish a baseline of information on the area, including on land use, footfall and local perceptions
- Street prospectus: interventions to make parades more welcoming, distinctive & diverse & help business grow & flourish
- Seed initiatives: deliver at least 2 initiatives during project to provide incentive for people to get involved
- Success measures: agree measures around increased footfall; improved local perceptions & better community engagement
Why it’s a great idea:
The project addresses a missing piece in the jigsaw of plans to support regeneration in Mitcham. Mitcham town centre is the focus of “Rediscover Mitcham”. Open space is the focus of an HLF Parks for People bid & the streetscape within the Conservation Area is the subject of an HLF Townscape Heritage bid.
The “forgotten parades” lie largely outside the Conservation Area & despite their significance as service centres & economic hubs they are not addressed in any current plans. Overlooked parades like these can be found across London & this project will help show how to realise their potential.
It will also support a growing capability in the local community which recently produced the Cricket Green Charter & has successfully completed an HLF funded project to raise awareness & increase engagement in the area. This will provide long term foundations for grassroots community action, improved stewardship of the area & better connect the community & local business.
How we’ll get it done:
- External support: recruit design & engagement agency to work with MCGC&H in project delivery
- Volunteer team: establish a team of local volunteers (including lead business partners) to manage & deliver project
- Communications: use local communications channels to raise awareness; door drops, social media, bulletin, posters
- Ideas workshops: generate proposals for the parades through workshops involving business, local groups & resident
- Partnership working: local businesses, community groups, residents, Merton Chamber, Merton councillors & officers
The parades are well served by public transport & have a diverse & fast changing residential population. They host a range of retail, services & other economic uses. The public realm is dilapidated & heavily trafficked & the parades lack a distinctive character & feel uncared for. Yet, they include important gathering points, such as barbers, pubs & the only café. They could be a focus for local ownership & social interaction. This project turns a spotlight on these undervalued centres of local economic & social life to deliver improvements though community-led social action.
We are a well established community group & have recently completed a £20,000 HLF project & produced the Cricket Green Charter. We have the capacity & capability to deliver the project.
We have identified 3 key risks (low participation, weak ideas, outcomes not supported by local council) & will manage these though use of expert contractors & local volunteers & by securing participation from the local authority.