Building a better Tower Hamlets

The borough has experienced large-scale regeneration in the past few years, with the council at the heart of the work to ensure the area is improved for the benefit of its residents and businesses. We highlight some of the major schemes taking place across the borough and how you can find out more about them.

Bethnal Green North, Mile End and Globe Town and Weavers

Oaklands schoolBuilding Schools for the Future

Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is one of the major regeneration programmes the borough has seen in the past few years. The £300 million programme has been transforming the borough’s secondary schools to give pupils access to first-class educational facilities and technology.

Oaklands School in Bethnal Green is one of the borough’s community secondary schools which has been refurbished and extended as part of the BSF programme.

Key features include a new two-storey teaching block, new street frontage and various renovations and alterations to existing buildings.

Bishopsgate goods yard

The Bishopsgate goods yard is a major regeneration opportunity in the City Fringe over ten to 15 years.

It will deliver up to 2,000 new homes, 150,000 sqm of commercial floorspace and a new park. The redevelopment also provides the opportunity to bring the Grade II listed railway arches back into productive use as an integral part of the development.

Spitalfields & Banglatown and Bethnal Green South

Community faith buildings support scheme

The council’s community faith buildings support scheme offers assistance to faith communities to repair, adapt and improve buildings in which faith-based activities occur.

There were 42 applicants in round 1 of the scheme which received funding to carry out such work.

The Good Shepherd Mission in Bethnal Green was one of the applicants which received £15,000 for refurbishment works which were recently completed and saw the building undergo a number of improvements.

Derb St CafeCreating a new Pocket Park

Across the borough a number of initiatives to improve the local areas and make the best use of public spaces has been ongoing. The eastern end of Derbyshire Street is one such area where the council and partners are working to create a new Pocket Park for the community.

The council recently upgraded the street in this area with funding from TfL.

The Pocket Park will offer community space with café tables and chairs, a new cycle route and planters for growing fruit and vegetables.

It will also have space for occasional small-scale workshops and events such as the Chelsea Fringe Festival.

St Dunstan’s & Stepney Green and Whitechapel

Ocean EstateOcean Estate

For the last three years the council has been working with the East Thames consortium on a £220 million programme to transform the Ocean Estate.

Improvements have been made to the existing 1,200 council homes, new community and retail facilities have been provided and the estate’s landscaping has undergone major improvements.

More than 800 new homes have also been constructed on the estate. One of the largest new housing developments in the area is Vivo, a 462-home development offering a mix of social rented housing as well as shared ownership and homes for outright sale. The development was recently crowned the Best Apartment building for 2013 at the Sunday Times British Homes Awards, further demonstrating the commitment to high quality homes.

The programme has also generated hundreds of jobs and helped many local people find work in construction and other related industries.

St Katharine’s & Wapping and Shadwell

Idea Stores

Last year the new Idea Store Watney Market was completed after a £4.3m investment.

The eco-friendly building has a first floor dedicated to children and young people, and the top floor for adults and family learning.

Tower Hamlets is one of the few councils in London investing in public libraries and the Idea Stores are a key feature in the community.

Find out more about what Idea Stores have to offer.

Bow East and Bow West

Victoria ParkVictoria Park

A multi-million pound facelift has recently restored Victoria Park to its former glory. Work included the restoration of the Burdett-Coutts fountain, the building of a new community facility and café, the recreation of the Chinese pagoda and major improvements to the play areas.

A fleet of pedalos and rowing boats have been re-introduced to the West Lake after a period of 30 years, and fish are being returned to the East Lake on a phased basis.

The park also boasts a new wheelpark for skateboarders and BMX riders and a Memoryscape trail – an audio trail celebrating people’s memories of the park.

Fish Island

The Fish Island area has been the centre of major redevelopment recently as the London Olympics brought opportunity to transform the area.

In 2012 the council adopted The Fish Island Area Action Plan (FI AAP) which sets out a vision for the area. The plan details how the council hopes to develop Fish Island as an integrated part of Tower Hamlets with around 3,000 new homes including affordable housing, 3,500 new jobs and space for business, innovation and industry.

The FI AAP forms part of the Local Plan for the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The LLDC are in charge of development in the area and will soon be drawing up their plans for the area.

Bromley-by-Bow and Mile End East

St Pauls WaySt Paul’s Way

Set up in 2006, the St Paul's Way Transformation Project has been a major initiative to improve the area and bring together various developments planned for the area.

A major feature of the scheme is the new award winning St Paul’s Way Trust School which was developed as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

There are also plans for new health and community centres and the regeneration of Leopold Estate which will replace the old blocks with 470 new private sale and affordable homes.

The St Paul’s Way street area has also been completely redesigned and received significant investment to upgrade surfaces, street furniture and integrate art and other interesting features of the area.

East India and Lansbury & Limehouse

poplar baths_v_Poplar Baths -smPoplar Baths

Poplar Baths, the grade II listed building and former swimming pool opposite Chrisp Street market, will soon be restored to its former glory.

The project will give residents a new leisure centre, sports hall, cafe, gym and other leisure facilities as well as an additional 60 new council homes at the site.

It is part of a £36 million scheme which will also see the development of Dame Colet House - a former housing block which is no longer in use and nearby Haileybury Youth Centre in Stepney.

At this site 40 new council homes and a brand new, state of the art youth centre with a café, IT suite, sound-proof music studio, fitness centre and outdoor games area will be created for the local community.

Blackwall & Cubitt Town and Millwall

East India looking westBlackwall Reach

The Blackwall Reach Regeneration Programme is one of Tower Hamlets’ most ambitious regeneration schemes which will bring nearly 1,600 new homes to Poplar and transform the local area.

In addition to delivering much needed new homes, the scheme will transform public areas on the existing Robin Hood Gardens estate, create better transport links, improve community facilities by funding an expanded primary school and deliver employment and training benefits for local people.

­Wood Wharf

Wood Wharf is one of the largest proposed regeneration schemes in London.

Proposals include building up to 4,500 homes, a school and community centre.