Championing progress: Strengthening cultural and economic council links

Fay Cannings, senior inward investment manager, Waltham Forest Council

Urban revitalisation, radical housing targets, commitment to quality, and social, economic and environmental value are all cornerstones of our three boroughs’ approach. Creating opportunity, cultivating creativity, and with culture on every corner. Join us to hear more as we look forward to our panel session at UKREiiF with EG.

World-class creativity thrives and is rooted in each of our boroughs’ DNA here at Waltham Forest, Haringey and Enfield. Local makers and creators cluster organically alongside innovative emerging sectors locating or expanding in each borough and the Upper Lea Valley. This is all set among authentic industrial fabric and choreographed design-conscious developments. Waltham Forest was London’s first trailblazing Borough of Culture and Haringey will take on the role in 2027, both boroughs boasting some of the first creative enterprise zones. Meanwhile activation, culture and the creative industries are already an important feature of the Meridian Water regeneration programme, including the award-winning Bloqs makerspace, Broadwick Live and Meridian Water Film Studios.

To set the scene, Waltham Forest is rich in culture and diversity, and we are so proud of what we have achieved over the past 10 years. Building on our Borough of Culture legacy, we are growing Waltham Forest as an attractive destination not only to live and work in, but also to visit. We had more than 40,000 visitors to the new Fellowship Square neighbourhood in Walthamstow last summer, and we are proud to have turned a distant council building into a collective space that our residents and visitors feel welcome in. In 2023, we were awarded the highest amount of levelling-up funding from the DLUHC of any London borough and are set to receive £39m. We are open for business, with inward investment and collaboration helping to write this next chapter for the borough. The local plan aims to deliver 52,000 sq m of industrial floorspace and 27,000 good-quality new homes by 2039 – enterprising plans creating holistic value.

Working hand in glove with the private sector, growth is all around. One of the most dynamic examples of this is in Blackhorse Lane, which we will delve into further at our panel session. The Blackhorse Lane area represents the greatest transformation seen in the borough over the past 10 years, set within a unique location alongside Europe’s largest urban wetlands, Walthamstow Wetlands – and all located right next to the Victoria Line. Walthamstow’s “West Side” is fast becoming a creative, art and food hub, amid its impressive new housing zones. It’s a burgeoning neighbourhood with a series of interesting eating and drinking spots. The former Ferry Lane Industrial Estate, snaking alongside the peaceful Walthamstow Wetlands has been regenerated and it is now home to the Blackhorse Beer Mile, joining up an urban winery and six craft breweries.

Also hear how Haringey is fostering innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth through its major schemes in Wood Green and Tottenham, including Broadwater Farm, High Road West, Selby Urban Village and Tottenham Hale. Haringey is a place brimming with creativity, vibrancy, personality, radicalism, diversity and community. Being one of the first creative enterprise zones and with a new Inclusive Economy Framework, Opportunity Haringey, culture, creativity and enterprise are woven into the borough’s fabric.

Learn, too, how Meridian Water is an ambitious, innovative regeneration scheme, led by Enfield Council, that aims to deliver up to 10,000 homes, 6,000 jobs and a variety of amenities, social infrastructure and green spaces. Despite facing challenges, the council has shown resilience and adaptability, taking decisive action to mitigate risks and continue delivering on the scheme. Meridian Water is more than just a housing project – it is a shining beacon of urban revitalisation that addresses economic, environmental and social dimensions, making a positive and lasting impact on the broader community and the regeneration of Enfield as a whole, as well as surrounding boroughs.

Join us to learn more about our progressive investment and regeneration strategies, unique approaches, shared values and future tri-borough plans, which we look forward to unveiling.

Hear Fay Cannings, senior inward investment manager at Waltham Forest Council, speak on the panel session Championing progress: Strengthening cultural and economic council links – Waltham Forest with Haringey and Enfield at UKREiiF at 12.00pm on Wednesday 22 May in the Tournament Gallery, Royal Amouries, Leeds.

She will be joined by Dan Batterton, head of residential at Legal & General Investment Management; David Joyce, director of placemaking and housing at Haringey Council; Jonathan Martin, director of inward investment and higher education academic relationships at Waltham Forest Council; Jennifer Offord, head of Meridian Water regeneration at Enfield Council; and Adam Walker, co-founder of The Foundry.