Challenge: St. Paul’s Way is one of the most deprived areas in Tower Hamlets but lies in the midst of Europe’s largest regeneration area, encompassing the Royal Docks, Canning Town, Canary Wharf, Poplar, Stratford City, the Westfield Shopping Centre, and the site of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Along St Paul’s Way, within a few hundred yards of each other, are two housing estates, a secondary school, a GP practice, two primary schools, a retail parade and several community facilities. Yet far from bringing communities together, St Paul’s Way acted as a car-dominated boundary between the disparate communities on either side of it; one local resident described the road as “the Berlin Wall”.
A series of significant developments were planned along the street, but the thinking was not ‘joined-up’ – the school, the health centre, and the housing were going to be built in isolation to each other.
Solutions: AMP brought the partners of the Transformation Project together and initiated the project by setting out a road map for the future. Set up in 2006, the St Paul’s Way Transformation Project is a partnership between Tower Hamlets Council, Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA), The Diocese of London, NHS Tower Hamlets, Leaside Regeneration Ltd, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, and Andrew Mawson Partnerships. It is tasked with bringing together, in a joined-up project, the physical improvements along St Paul’s Way, creating new networks and relationships between the parties and local residents, and pursuing a coordinated vision for the future of the area. With Phase One of the work now completed, Phase Two has now begun. This has involved incorporating a new social enterprise, St Paul’s Way CIC, which was founded in March 2012.