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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 077 - Establishing a management structure to suit your needs

077 - The Pepys Community Forum / London Borough of Lewisham

At Pepys Estate in Lewisham, the local community has been at the forefront of the regeneration process, influencing key decisions and beginning to get involved in the long-term management of assets, to change an area that has suffered from long-term underinvestment.

In 1997 Pepys Estate residents got together to find ways to improve the quality of life and services, leading to the formation of the Pepys Community Forum in 1998. It put its own community regeneration bid together, via Lewisham Council. The revenue part of the bid was successful and provided funding to deliver community-based services and a Community Development Trust. An umbrella body, with the legal, constitutional and democratic framework, the Community Development Trust is designed to enable local residents to set up, manage and develop their own services and resources in the area and act as a lever for bringing new money into the area. The Trust is designed to out-live any other funding regime.

The community’s appreciation of existing large open spaces and insistence for these to be retained influenced the layout and design of new buildings in the reconstruction proposals generated by an architectural competition. The Pepys Estate Community Forum has initiated educational and training programmes for the community and also delivered key social support for refugee communities and the most disadvantaged. It supported and strengthened existing amenities such as the Pepys 2000 Community Action Centre and the Riverside Youth Club. It has also supported environmental aspirations and runs a food waste recycling project, one of only a handful of such community initiatives in London.

Other Information

  • Location: London Borough of Lewisham
  • Project Team: Key partners: Pepys Community Forum, Local Area Agreement Fund - LBL, Esmee Fairbairn, CRED
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UDC2 Section - Managing Quality Placesace 

The Pepys Community Forum worked with the local authority to secure funding for a Community Development Trust that enables them to manage and develop their own services and resources. Projects include education and programs, an architectural competition and the delivery of a community centre.Images (image bank)