Better Bankside shares in Mayor’s fund for improving London’s High Streets

Local Business Improvement District (BID) Better Bankside has secured £167,500 from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund to transform a stretch of Great Suffolk Street in Bankside, SE1. It is one of 42 projects across London to receive a share of up to £9 million of funding.

The funding will deliver high quality public realm improvements to Great Suffolk Street, immediately south of Union Street where the environment is more degraded and foot traffic greatly decreases. This will support local business by encouraging footfall and dwell time along the street. The funding complements existing investment from Better Bankside, Network Rail and Southwark Council.

The project will knit together Network Rail’s planned investment in Union Yard – a section of the viaduct which links Union Street and Surrey Row forming part of the Low Line walking route, with emerging ‘Quietway’ cycle improvements planned by Southwark Council for Union Street as part of the Central London Cycle Grid. It will also incorporate Better Bankside’s newly extended area of operation south of Union Street, which comes into effect from April 2015.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:

“The imagination, enterprise and creativity of Londoners has shone through in the array of ideas that were put forward to the High Street Fund. London’s high streets are no longer about retail alone and I am thrilled to be supporting projects that seek to diversify and unlock opportunities in our most prized urban assets.”

Better Bankside’s Bankside Urban Forest Manager, Valerie Beirne said:

“We are thrilled to be awarded this funding from the Greater London Authority. It builds on our earlier projects focused on improving Great Suffolk Street, and our wider Bankside Urban Forest vision to improve the streets and public spaces in Bankside including the BID’s new extension area south of Union Street- making Bankside a better place to work, live and visit.”

The project will be delivered in partnership with Southwark Council, the GLA, Network Rail and local businesses and residents. It is part of the Bankside Urban Forest initiative – a long term strategy and partnership coordinated by Better Bankside and partners to improve the network of streets and public spaces between Bankside and Elephant and Castle.