The Deptford Project
The Deptford Project is a £47m mixed-use PPP regeneration scheme with the London Borough of Lewisham. In January 2006 the Mayor and Cabinet of the London Borough of Lewisham announced Cathedral Group Plc from a field of 50 as their chosen developer of a scheme to regenerate this significant part of Deptford town centre. The Deptford Project will deliver; a building which will contain 132 new homes, 14 artisan arch space workshops, 7 commercial units, 2 restaurants and a new market square situated next to the historic carriage ramp and the Deptford mainline station.
The ramp, first used in 1836 as a means for carriages to reach the station, is the oldest surviving railway structure in London. It is set to benefit from sensitive restoration as part of the development, making it once more a focal point for the area. The site will be transformed into a lively and safe environment that will include retail units, 2 restaurants and a landscaped public piazza and we worked with Ash Sakula Architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects and Farrer Huxley Associates on these aspects of the scheme.
On the 8th March 2012 the London Borough of Lewisham resolved to grant planning consent for The Deptford Project and the section 106 agreement was signed shortly afterwards.
Construction began on site in April 2014. Ardmore Group and Bower Contracting joined the project team – Ardmore are building the apartment building which gained planning consent by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Bower the public realm, arch workshops and St Paul’s House elements. In the same month Peabody became Cathedral Group’s affordable housing partner and Urban Exposure and The Railway Heritage Trust joined the Homes & Communities Agency as development funding partners. To mark the start of construction we’ve erected colourful hoardings around the site and passersby can pick up a special Deptford Project newspaper located on the hoardings near the station. The paper that tells the story of the 6 years of placemaking in and around the arch spaces and also shows what’s to come once the development is complete.
In summer 2008 we installed a 1960s commuter train carriage into a site next to Deptford High Street train station in south east London. We put it there to kickstart our regeneration scheme with the London Borough of Lewisham. In January 2014 we re-located the train carriage to another Cathedral site so that work could begin on the high street area. With construction starting, the exciting new community will take shape behind the hoardings.
The Deptford Project Café became a popular place with Deptford locals. Lovingly restored by neighbourhood craftsmen and run by a local group, the café acted as a creative hub for the community and as the focal point for The Deptford Project. It has been featured in media all over the world and was hailed as London’s grooviest new café. Vogue magazine included The Deptford Project Café in their top 50 favourite things in London. It’s hoped the carriage can return once the scheme is complete.
We continued our placemaking by opening up the abandoned arches under the carriage ramp and letting them on a temporary basis to local craftspeople. They built a vibrant community there, coming together regularly to host public events.
In Autumn 2010 Jamie Oliver visited the site with a film crew to shoot an episode of a new series which was aired on Channel Four at the end of 2011.
The café became the hub for a programme of arts and culture on the site that made use of it while the design and consultation process continued. We installed an outdoor cinema in summer 2010 and 2011 and partnered with Silent Cinema to host movie seasons. The cinema was designed and built by the craftspeople on site.
In September 2014 we held a construction recruitment drive in Giffin Square. Job seekers had the opportunity to get details of how to register for future job opportunities on the development and sign-up for a pre-apprenticeship programme with The Deptford Projects’ construction partner Ardmore Group, in conjunction with Lewisham & Southwark College. Women into Construction, Bower and Lewisham & Southwark College joined us at the event to offer advice and ways into jobs and training in construction. The Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock also came along to show his support.
In March 2015 we celebrated the first major milestone on the development – the ‘Topping Out’ of the Octavius Street building. Cllr Alan Smith, the Deputy Mayor of Lewisham came along to help the Ardmore Construction Apprentices pour the last bit of concrete on the roof.
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