The Blackwall Reach development partners, local residents and community groups today celebrated the grand opening of The Reach Community Hub; a new community facility in Blackwall Reach, Swan’s large scale regeneration of Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar, East London, as well as marking the ground breaking on a crucial next phase of the development.
The former Robin Hood Gardens estate is being transformed by Swan Housing Group in partnership with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority to deliver more than 1500 new homes, over half of which will be affordable, alongside new community, transport, educational and retail opportunities.
Officially opened by John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, The Reach is a fantastic Community Hub spread across two floors, featuring a main hall, three smaller rooms and a teaching kitchen.
Managed by Swan’s Community Development Team, it has been developed to ensure that it is as inclusive as possible, with the hiring of the hall and activities held developed around local need and consultation. Initial projects due to be delivered from the site include youth activities, residents meetings, healthy eating sessions, employment and training programmes and exercise sessions.
The Reach will play an integral part in improving residents’ access to local services and improve their quality of life and will also be available to hire for corporate and community events, with any income generated being reinvested in the hub.
The community celebrations followed a ground breaking event on the crucial next phase of the project. When complete, this latest phase will deliver 242 new homes. This is in addition to the 98 new affordable homes already created in Phase 1A. There will also be an attractive new public square, shops and cafes to open up new facilities and employment opportunities as well as much improved access to the DLR station
Sandra Fawcett, Executive Director – Operations, Swan Housing Association said:
“We’re delighted to mark the official opening of The Reach Community Hub which we hope will become a focal point for local residents and the wider community. Swan is proud to be working closely with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority to deliver much needed, high-quality new homes as well as this fantastic facility which will be at the heart of the new community at Blackwall Reach.”
Mayor John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said:
“I’m delighted to officially open the new Blackwall Reach Community Hub. This fantastic new centre provides an excellent location for current and future residents of all ages to come together socially, but also to access courses, activities and opportunities to gain new skills.“Addressing our many housing challenges is about more than just building new homes, we also have to invest in the wider community facilities that help create places where local people love to live. The Blackwall Reach Regeneration scheme does both, providing new community facilities and creating more than 1500 new homes, including 679 affordable homes, 561 of which will be at social rent.”