Foundation for Future London revealed community spaces lost

Foundation for Future London revealed community spaces lost

Brent closed 13 council-run community spaces between 2018 and 2023.

This was revealed in a study by think tank Foundation for Future London, which found that across London 46 community spaces have been permanently shut down in the last five years – nearly 10 a year.

Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests showed that there are 1,758 community spaces currently open in the capital.

Brent faced the highest number of closures at 13, with only four new openings.

Boroughs like Barnet, Havering, Newham, Hillingdon and Lewisham have also closed more spaces than they opened since 2018.

The research is part of a larger effort by the Foundation known as the Empowering Safer Spaces campaign.

This initiative, in partnership with Westfield Stratford City, seeks to understand young people’s perceptions of current community spaces in London.

The campaign aims to start a discussion with the government, companies and academics around the importance of community spaces.

Brent has seen the closure of 13 spaces - the highest of any London boroughBrent has seen the closure of 13 spaces – the highest of any London borough (Image: Google Maps)

Sarah Nelson, CEO at Foundation for Future London, said: “The growing lack of safe spaces and services across London is worrying.

“All young people deserve access to safe spaces to learn, play and grow within their local communities.

“These findings reinforce the need for greater investment to develop and protect vital community spaces across London.”

Islington is leading the push for community spaces, boasting 223 such venues in total

Barking and Dagenham also stands out for creating 30 new spaces in five years, the highest amongst all boroughs involved in the study.

Furthermore, Greenwich upon closing four, opened 10 further spaces, bringing its total to 183.

Alyson Hodkinson, head of sustainability UK at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said: “The vitality of our community spaces is crucial, and the recent findings highlight a concerning trend: closures of such spaces are outpacing new openings in several boroughs, leaving gaps in places where young people can learn, play, and connect.”

Foundation for Future London will present its full findings at a panel event this July, with a focus on making London a safer place for all residents.

For more information about Foundation for Future London and its Empowering Safer Spaces campaign, visit its website: https://future.london/programme/empowering-safer-spaces-campaign/.

https://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/24419331.foundation-future-london-revealed-community-spaces-lost/

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