£19m funding boost for town centre at Hackney’s ‘beating heart’
A greener, safer and more welcoming Hackney Central is one step closer after Hackney Council's successful application for £19m in Levelling Up funding.
The award will see five acres of public space transformed, bringing new green space, trees and seating along Amhurst Road, investment in Hackney Central Library, a much-needed redesign of Pembury Circus junction, new creative workspace and a rejuvenated Hackney Town Hall Square.
Hackney Central is the civic and cultural heart of Hackney, growing as a creative and retail destination, with huge opportunities for a more inclusive local economy alongside hundreds of new homes and jobs. The bid to transform this key area was informed by the views of thousands of local residents, which helped identify the concerns people have about community safety, public realm design, transport, greening and housing.
Drawing from the issues identified by the community, the Council’s bid was centred on three key priorities:
- Developing a ‘Green and Resilient Hackney Central’ by addressing traffic congestion, reducing air pollution, improving walking and cycling routes and creating more green space.
- Creating a ‘Characterful Hackney Central’ with a stronger ‘civic heart’ by, improving heritage assets like the Town Hall Square, and improving cultural and library services to increase digital inclusion.
- Improving wellbeing and resilience in the Hackney Central area by supporting markets, bringing empty spaces and shops back into use, and increasing footfall to improve community safety.
Hackney Central is the beating heart of the borough and this successful bid is a win for the thousands of people who have told us about their priorities for the area. It will help us in ensuring that it continues to grow in a way that benefits residents by offering a greener, safer and more inclusive town centre.
We’re looking forward to continuing discussions with the community as we begin to shape the area. I’d also like to thank our Hackney South and Shoreditch MP, Dame Meg Hillier and everybody else who played such an active part in supporting this bid and its success.
Inner-city areas like Hackney have been hit hard by a decade of austerity so, while we welcome this funding, it is a drop in the ocean compared to the £140m loss of revenue cuts to our funding since 2010.
This funding coincides with the emerging Hackney Town Centre Strategy, which will offer a ten-year vision for Hackney Central and will go to Cabinet in the next few months signalling a new chapter for Hackney Central that we are excited to work with the local community to deliver.