Hackney Council secures £2.3million to transform Dalston town centre

HACKNEY Council has secured £1.3million from the Mayor of London to transform Kingsland High Street as part of the Council s major improvements to Dalston town centre.

And it has secured an additional £1m from the London Development Agency (LDA) as part of its commitment to supporting the Council to transform Dalston.

The funding was granted after the Council submitted proposals developed with Design for London to transform the area, which include better walking and cycling routes, planting more trees to make the town centre greener, and providing improved lighting.

There will also be new crossing points between Ridley Road and Dalston Kingsland station, and the relocation of bus stops and cycle stands.

Further plans to make the town centre easier and safer to get around include dropped kerbs for wheelchair users and those with pushchairs, safer crossings for blind and visually impaired pedestrians, 20mph speed limits and introduction of CCTV.

It is hoped the improvements will make what is already a popular town centre for shoppers and tourists even more attractive for local people and visitors alike.

The £1.3m funding is part of Transport for London’s Local Implementation Plan Major Schemes programme to help transform the capital in time for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Councillor Alan Laing, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Securing this funding, together with the money already secured from the LDA, will help us transform Kingsland High Street and build on our investment within the Dalston area, and is welcome news indeed. We’re delighted that TfL supported our exciting proposals and we look forward to this transformation to a key town centre and gateway into the borough.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: “When the world comes here during the 2012 Games we want the place to look its best and for people to have enjoyable journeys through the area. These great projects will help enhance the Capital as a whole, giving local communities and visitors improved public space, and providing a legacy for London that lasts for many years to come.”

Peter Bishop, London Development Agency Group Director for Design, Development and Environment, said: “The centre of Dalston is going through a transformation. These proposals will improve links between Dalston’s existing communities with the town centre and create a series of public spaces. The London Development Agency’s investment and partnership with Hackney Council will really make the most of the opportunities brought to Dalston by the East London Line extension.”

The transformation of Kingsland High Street links closely with the Dalston masterplan which the Council adopted in January following extensive consultation with residents, community groups and local businesses. The masterplan is designed to guide growth and investment in Dalston over the next 15 years, while ensuring Dalston s distinct character that makes it such a popular destination for residents and visitors is strengthened.

A new London Overground station will be opened at Dalston Junction by June and it is estimated that up to five million people could use the station every year. Around the station, the Council is working with partners to build 500 new homes, a new library and public archive, shops, restaurants and a modern public square.