The Broadway Estate
A Horse’s Tale was the consultation and design project that created the Tilbury community garden in a site that had been blighted by antisocial behaviour to the extent that stolen cars were driven there and set alight. The site of the community garden had been a bleak, flat area of grass with a small playground in the centre of 189 houses, 36 sheltered flats and 192 flats in 3 high rise towers. The Broadway Residents and Tenants Associations (BRATS) proposed that the underused space at the centre of their estate be transformed into a shared open space for local people.
Most residents on the Broadway Estate wanted to leave the area and no outsiders visited the estate. Tenants felt undervalued and ignored, and the buildings and public spaces were in a state of disrepair. The resident population changed on a regular basis, as new tenants moved in, including a significant number of families from the traveller community. The Broadway Estate lacked public space and residents did not identify with the estate that they lived in.
The Broadway Multi-Agency Partnership
In 1998 the Broadway Multi-Agency Partnership formed, consisting of a housing officer, residents, the local council and the local police, to bid for funding to improve their local area. They were successful and received money from the Single Regeneration Budget. The partnership proposed a community garden and devised an approach. They wanted an innovative design that inspired the residents and could radically transform the crime hotspot into a much needed recreation space for the local community.
The Broadway Residents and Tenants Associations (BRATS)
In 2001 BRATS produced a brief that would create a community garden including facilities for play and a place for all residents to relax and socialise. The community garden has a space large enough for a game of football, a playground separated into two spaces for younger and older children and a special area specifically for horses and horse events. Stage one of the brief development was a 12-week consultation period for residents which fed into the design of the project. In 2002 muf architecture/art was commissioned by BRATS and the local housing officer to carry out the project. Muf’s findings were largely focussed on the travelling heritage and presence of horses in Tilbury.