Thursday, August 19, 2010

Money up for grabs from Lewisham Homes.....

Apologies for being late in posting this up.  A while ago I got an email from Lewisham Homes asking for bids for the ''Community Improvement Competitive Grant.''  Firstly, I'd sort of assumed that the email had been fairly widely distributed along the ''if I get one, others will too...'' principle.  But it seems that it hasn't been widely publicised and it might be that I got one because I'd ticked some box when I registered on the Lewisham Homes website. Here's a bit of introduction to the scheme:

The Community Improvement Competitive Fund is open and you've still got time to submit your application. You can apply for funding for up to £5000 to fund improvements in your local area.
The 3 aims of this fund are to contribute to improvements in:
• The Community;
• The Environment;
Safety in your area.
It could be a project to improve a communal space, buy equipment for community activities or continue a community group that works in the area for the community. These are just a few suggestions but we'd love to hear your ideas. You can apply as part of your TRA or submit an individual application. 

There's more information on the Community Improvement link above.   Bids have to be submitted by 27 August with awards to be decided shortly afterwards.  It's not for anything needing major works or planning position but if you've got an idea for something that might help the community, here's a link to the application form and guidance notes. 

If you have an idea but have no idea how to put a bid together, the link above will point you to a workshop at Honor Oak Housing Office on Saturday, 21 August.

My second reason for being late posting this was because, living under the roof, I thought wouldn't it be great if we could use our roofs for solar panels, and then I started thinking about how the benefits from having a bit of local green energy could be fairly shared around the estate and, due to a striking lack of imagination, I managed to come up with very few ideas. And on reflection, it would probably count as ''major works'' so the idea wouldn't be eligible anyway.  I think a shorter explanation would be ''sidetracked...''


  1. John Rhodes had this brilliant idea of lighting the arches with lots of little LEDs (very cheap to run, though perhaps less so to install). It would come under all the categories - especially "Safety in your area"...
    Even if just the two main arches at either end were lit this way it would be an improvement. Examples can be seen at London Bridge.

  2. Having had a look at the application form and guidelines in the link, it appears you would be an utter fool to bother unless you had fully costed the idea first. If the idea was well beyond 5K you'd need to have a full-on petition for it, and hope for LH to find the extra cash, which would surely be swallowed up by consultation fees.
    Am probably being cycnical but £5k will buy you two benches by the time it's gone through their system.

  3. Still liking the LED idea...£20 a year to power, no installation costs to be found yet...(seems any installation has to be attached to some famous designer so hence even higher costs)...

  4. More about the Southwark project, seems it's a project to light all the old Victorian railway tunnels in Southwark & Lambeth.
    To date, the renovation of over a half of the pedestrian tunnels have been refurbished through the LET programme. LET was launched by Cross River Partnership in 2002 to tackle the severing effect of the ten kilometre stretch of disused Victorian viaducts.
    Light at the end of the Tunnel.

  5. Sherlock (your mum)Saturday, August 21, 2010

    You probably can't do this sort of thing without Network rail and all getting involved. So in the end it turns into a major project, not something you can easily change now. And what with what's going on round the station and what I read on your blog about cycle lanes through the estate to Greenwich, it won't be long before you get something like the Southwark thing anyway...

    Maybe you can do it yourself on the cheap, but not with money from Lewisham – they would see it as strategic. And suggesting it to them will only see your idea taken over and broadcast as their own, you wouldn't get for instance a local kid asking for the planets in one of the arches, you'd have to have a high profile artist or lighting designer do the job, something Lewisham could claim the international stage for in two year's time. It's a rock and a hard place.

  6. Sadly, I've only just seen this, so no time to do much about it. But, perhaps for next time, I'd love to get support for a scheme to brighten up our dreary stairwells in partnership with some of the artists living opposite.

    Basically, we could simply run a competition for local artists to come up with great ideas for decorating a couple of stairwells in the style and media of their choosing. We could suggest local themes, or just leave it to them. We ask residents to judge them and then commission these artists to deliver the best, perhaps using local people as labourers or trainees perhaps in the process.

    We'd have to ensure that they were easy to maintain, that they added to security (bright, light etc.) and a few other criteria, but it needn't be more complicated than that.

    The budget wouldn't stretch to many stairwells, but it could be a useful and interesting way to add further character to the estate, celebrate our artistic heritage (is it too early to call it that?) employ some artists and perhaps residents and enliven some of the dreariest stairwells.

    What do other people think?