More than 200 local people responded to a recent survey to tell the Council their ideas to improve Riverside Gardens in Erith.
A further 180 people took part in ideas forums and pop-up events run by Groundwork, who the Council commissioned to run the community design process.
Four themes dominated the feedback –
People said that the river is an untapped resource for the gardens and that stronger connections need to be made between the gardens and the river. Their ideas were mostly around improving views of the river, designing a better viewing platform and creating better access to the gardens from the riverside walk.
There were lots of imaginative suggestions from children and adults on how to incorporate play into the gardens. Local people said they wanted to visit Riverside Gardens, but don’t feel inspired to use the space. They suggested considering events and activities in the design, as well as ways to make the space more attractive and inspiring.
The Riverside Gardens and Erith have a rich history and heritage. There were lots of ideas on how this could be incorporated into the gardens, through creative sculptures and artwork, new signage and historically themed planting.
The next stages in the rejuvenation of Riverside Gardens will be to employ a landscape architect with a brief based on feedback from the local community.
There will be more engagement activities in September to get feedback from local people on the design of the park. There are also plans for a summer activity programme to trial some of the new ideas.
Work has also started on detailed designs for Pier Square following public feedback. The aim is to transform this area at the entrance to Erith Pier. Work is expected to begin later in the year.
These improvements build on previous regeneration work funded by the London Borough of Bexley and follow the Council’s successful bid for a further £1.6mn from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund through the ‘Greater Erith Programme’.