Levelling Up Fund for Waltham Forest

15 November 2023

In January 2023, the government announced that two Levelling Up Fund bids investing in projects in Waltham Forest Council have been successful.

In March 2023, the government approved the Levelling Up Fund bid for infrastructure funding for Chingford Mount and Highams Park.

The funds will bring upgrades to Leyton Station, Walthamstow Town Centre, Chingford Mount and Highams Park.

Projects in Waltham Forest have received the highest amount of funding from the Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) of any London borough and are set to receive approximately £39m in total to improve Leyton Station as well as for projects developing a Cultural Quarter across Walthamstow Town Centre.

Transformation of Leyton underground station

Leyton station will receive £13.7m after a successful joint bid led by Transport for London (TfL) and the Greater London Authority (GLA). The funds will be used to transform the station, creating step-free access to each platform as well as a new ticket hall, concourse, bridge, and gate line. Usage of the station is predicted to grow significantly over the next 20 years and the improvements are vital to future-proof this important transport hub and improve accessibility for all passengers.

The government’s funding award will be matched by the Council’s longstanding commitment to fund up to £9m towards the project’s delivery, with its contribution secured from new development in the area via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Council is now working with TfL to develop the programme for taking the project through the next stages of design development, securing all necessary permissions, and on to construction, targeting the opening of the new station facilities in 2026.

Walthamstow culture for all

A second bid for £17.2m submitted by the Council alone was also successful and will be used to deliver projects that unlock Walthamstow’s potential as an inclusive, safe, and welcoming cultural destination. The intention is that the investment will increase footfall in the Town Centre throughout the day and evening, widen cultural participation, generate opportunities for creative enterprise and create pathways into employment and training for residents.

The government funding will be used to deliver phased enhancements to public spaces in High Street, Hoe Street, and St James Street introducing new lighting, improved surfacing, signage, additional planting, and opportunities for public art.

See how we're connecting and improving Hoe Street 

The improvements to public spaces will be delivered alongside investment in Council-owned heritage buildings across the Town Centre, designed to preserve and enhance their historic character and make them more accessible to the community. The Council will invest in:

  • Chestnuts House to create a centre for innovation and creative enterprise;
  • Hatherley Mews to support workspace, food/drink, and hospitality businesses, creating a destination around Soho Theatre Walthamstow;
  • Vestry House Museum as a place that celebrates Waltham Forest’s culture and community, widening participation in cultural and creative activities.

The investment forms part of the Council’s work with residents, businesses, and stakeholders to develop Walthamstow’s cultural offer as a legacy from Waltham Forest being London’s first Borough of Culture in 2019. Building on initial engagement in 2022, the Council will continue to work with the local community on plans for Walthamstow’s Cultural Quarter through the Let’s Talk Walthamstow website.

The programme of improvements complements wider Council and private sector-led investment in Walthamstow Town Centre, including delivery of landmark destination Soho Theatre Walthamstow, and ongoing regeneration plans for St James Quarter and 17&Central, which are delivering a range of new and affordable homes, new community facilities, including a new health centre, shops, leisure, and workspaces.

Read the Walthamstow Culture for All Levelling Up Fund bid.

See the Walthamstow Levelling Up Fund Application 

Chingford Mount and Highams Park

The £8.4m award from the Levelling Up fund will be invested in projects co-created with local children and young people to bring changes to town centres and parks in the area

It will help ensure young people have safe, inclusive places to socialise, develop, and express themselves as well as improve transport options and green spaces and parks. It will also bring an economic boost to local independent businesses and small traders by making the area even more attractive and welcoming.

Chingford Mount town centre will benefit from more greenery and public art as the council works to make the area safer and more inclusive, especially for children and young people. By including them in the design process they will be able to see that their voices and opinions are valued as they take a lead role in shaping the area in which they live and study.

Highams Park town centre will be given an economic boost with new retail spaces for startups and small businesses alongside enhancements including repaving the high street, new rain gardens to reduce the risk from flooding, and more street-lighting to help people feel safe. A new raised crossing will make it easier to access the area from the nearby Aldriche Estate.

The improvements will reflect the things that local people have told the Council they want to see through years of engagement to create the Chingford Mount Area Framework. Particular themes suggested by residents were making the area more child-friendly and giving young people more opportunities. Improvements to Memorial Park were especially highlighted. Other priority areas for investment included better high streets and town centres, improved air quality, and more money for community safety.

Read the Chingford Mount and Highams Park Levelling Up Fund bid.