Britannia Village Development

Who are we?

Over the last 12 years West Silvertown Foundation has been committed to serving local people. Since September 2019 we have worked with over 2000 local residents across a range of projects – from adult social groups and exercise classes to under 5s and youth activities. On top of this we organise several community-wide celebrations each year, attracting up to 600 people each. 2020 has seen huge changes in how we do things – with online activities, food deliveries and renovating the community garden together. Although things have been different, we have been blown away by the energy and dedication in our community, and we are determined to continue to serve and work with you to create a vibrant and connected community in West Silvertown.

Background

We have managed Britannia Village Hall, and provided community services there, since 2008. In 2019, in partnership with Ballymore, we took on the management of Royal Wharf Community Dock, providing a wide range of community activities. We are also working in partnership with Royal Wharf Primary School and Oasis Academy Silvertown to make facilities in their new school buildings available to residents in evenings and at weekends.

Now over 20 years old, the existing Village Hall is showing its age and requires significant investment to make it fit for purpose. The GP surgery and pharmacy have now moved to Royal Wharf. This has provided the opportunity to explore creating a building that better meets the needs of the community, is more welcoming and makes better use of land.

Our emerging Vision

  1. We are looking to provide new, state of the art community facilities alongside new homes built for local people including:
  • Providing a flexible series of carefully arranged community spaces that can be used and configured in different ways over the course of the weekly programme of activities and users. We are looking to provide better space for Tiny Town, our successful nursery partner. Our vision is to create an inclusive inter-generational hub where people from all backgrounds can come and feel welcome.
  • We are also exploring the potential for a social enterprise music studio. This would include a high-quality fully sound proofed music production facility that commercial artists from all over London as well as rising Newham talent – bringing new people, business and culture to the Royal Docks.
  • A mix of up to around 50 homes that meet local needs. This might include homes to rent and for sale at different affordability levels from market to 50% of market or lower. We are exploring the opportunity for key worker housing including for local schools. We are currently undertaking a detailed Housing Needs Survey and pulling together a co-design group. If built this scheme would be amongst the largest community-led housing projects in London.
  1. We are looking for long-term community ownership from the outset. The new scheme will be designed and managed through an in-depth co-design process.
  2. The new building will be one of several connected assets that the Foundation will own and manage in this part of the Royal Docks to support our long-term growth and impact.
  3. The project will be of the highest design quality and built to stand the test of time. The building will have a ‘wow’ factor, be public-facing and will contribute to creating a viable local centre in the Western Royals, supporting better public spaces, walking and cycling and safer routes to school. We are looking to include public toilets during operational hours.
  4. The project will need to be able to financially viable whilst maximising community benefits and new affordable homes. We will seek to use contractors who will employ local people and create apprenticeships.

What are the timescales?

We would expect to complete the feasibility by Spring 2021 and then commence pre-application discussions. Depending on viability and planning, the scheme could commence in 2022.

For more information please take a look at our frequently asked questions page.

Have your say by completing our community and housing needs survey here. If you want to have a conversation with one of our team about this project, please email us at development@wsfroyaldocks.org and we will contact you to arrange a phone or video call.

You can sign up to get regular updates about the development from us.

If you’d like to get involved in other things we do, check out our current timetable here.