We worked in partnership with the London Borough of Southwark on the regeneration of the former Five Estates. In 1995 a £60million award from the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) allowed Southwark Council to establish the Peckham Partnership which included a wide range of public and private sector partners.
They were able to lever in a total of £290million to spend on initiatives that would improve Peckham's prospects and reputation. Following completion in 2008, there are more than 2,000 new and refurbished homes for rent and shared ownership and over 600 new homes for owner occupation, built to a traditional pattern of streets, terraces and public parks.
At the heart of this rejuvenated Peckham is a bustling new town square framed by the acclaimed Peckham library and leisure centre.
The square has become a real community focal point and is used to host a wide variety of events. There have also been substantial improvements to the Town Centre. However, Peckham's radical transformation of one of the most deprived areas in the country has been about much more than bricks and mortar.
A wide-ranging programme of social and economic initiatives addressed the issue of social exclusion inherent in the area. This included initiatives to improve the economic wealth of local people, to raise education standards, and to reduce crime. The education programme contributed to a 126% increase in literacy and a 114% increase in GCSE achievement amongst key groups. Various employment and training programmes resulted in a 26% reduction in unemployment between 1994 and 2002, while community safety initiatives halved fear of crime in the area. A separate but related SRB scheme benefited around 150 local groups, associations and societies, including many youth organisations.
The success of the regeneration programme has very substantially raised the status of the area. All of this has taken place in an area where in 1994, 99% of the housing stock was owned by the Council and turnover was in excess of 25% per annum. Indeed, many local estate agents did not believe a housing for sale market could be created. It exhibited all of the characteristics of serious deprivation - in educational achievement, standards of health, unemployment, crime and so on.
This position changed to such an extent that the demand for the owner occupied homes was very considerable. Turnover on the new affordable homes has remained well below the Borough average.
This project has had a major uplifting effect and there is now a thriving housing for sale and commercial investment market throughout the Peckham area. This significant change in the socio-economic balance in the area has no doubt contributed to its overall sustainability in economic and social terms.