The Blue’s Community Celebration Event on 31 07 2021
On Saturday 31 July, pop in to The Blue to celebrate the new look of Market Place, now featuring a clock tower, improved green spaces and better market facilities.
To celebrate the completion of the regeneration works to Market Place, Made in Bermondsey are holding a free community event with music, interactive activities and the official opening of the new Clock Tower and drinking fountain
Wood Carving Workshop
Join local maker Emma Leslie to help carve the decorative elements for the five new oak benches she has designed for the market.
Join Vanessa Woolf for some interactive and magical children’s storytelling inspired by the River Thames and the sea beyond.
Biscuit Factory Development
Find out more about Grosvenor’s vision for this site and the potential benefits for people living and working locally.
Carve A Wooden Spoon
Discover the power of making with Creative Nature. Connect to nature and experience a deep sense of inner calm.
Sit around and chill out to the sounds of talented young local musicians from Unity Music Arts Team
Inauguration of Clock Tower
Be sure to be in the square at 1pm for the official inauguration of the new clock tower and drinking fountain
A brand new look for Market Place SE16
Home to The Blue and Make It Blue markets, the square has been completely redefined: new seating areas using re-purposed materials are framed by clusters of trees and greenery, and an expanded new layout for market stalls is illuminated with new lighting columns and a clock tower standing proudly as Market Place’s shining new centrepiece.
The green oak tower is inspired by the historic clock tower that stood on Peek Frean’s biscuit factory, which in its heyday kept the country supplied with garibaldi and bourbon biscuits until its closure in 1989.
In homage to The Blue’s manufacturing heritage and to celebrate the history of the first tin can being invented in Bermondsey, the new clock tower is clad in 3,000 tin can discs made locally on Old Kent Road. The local community was invited to be part of this great history through a series of workshops on the market and in schools where residents engraved 500 tin can discs with designs inspired by the Old Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey’s coat of arms.
Murals and artwork celebrating The Blue’s industrial roots and a litany of historic ‘firsts’ originating in Bermondsey enliven market shutters and nearby railway arches as important gateways directing visitors to the town centre. The market square’s paving, which was carefully retained to re-use existing materials as far as possible, now boasts a colourful brick mosaic reading the inscription on Bermondsey’s coat of arms – Art Profits The People.
Traders now have access to improved market storage and new electrical power points, with adaptable fixed stalls designed to provide cover for other uses, such as community events and arts festivals.
After having to stop trading due to the pandemic, traders of Make It Blue Market are back to The Blue. This new market initiative led by Blue Bermondsey BID allows local entrepreneurs to trade in the market, many for first time.
Southwark Council and partners, The Blue Business Improvement District, Community Opportunity and Big Local Works, secured £2m of capital funding from the Mayor of London’s LEAP Good Growth Fund to turn The Blue town centre and street market into a thriving area. Hayatsu Architects, located just five minutes from The Blue’s Market Place, were appointed to lead the design team with Turner Prize-winning art and architecture collective Assemble.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with the community to deliver these improvements to one of our much loved town centres.
Thanks to the local community, businesses and council working together, with backing from the Mayor of London, we are putting Bermondsey’s historic town centre firmly on the map as the ‘Larder of London’ for locals and Londoners alike to visit, shop, eat and socialise.
We hope you’ll join us this Saturday for the opening of the new vastly improved market square, to celebrate what’s been achieved so far and experience first-hand the incredible community spirit driving forward plans to bring a buzz back to The Blue.
Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council
“I am thrilled to support the regeneration of the Blue Market, all made possible by local people and organisations working together to design a new market space that will support community activities, events and local businesses. Markets like the Blue have a long history in the capital and throughout the pandemic have played a crucial role in providing local people with access to goods and services. The transformation of the Blue market will restore the heart of Bermondsey, provide a space that the community can feel proud of and put the Blue Market on the map as a new destination for Londoners to visit.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan
“A true regeneration project cannot be delivered without the strong will and commitment from local community partners. The positivity and creativity of The Blue BID, Community Opportunity, Big Local Works and other locals really pushed the project forward. We hope our built interventions add a new exciting chapter to the long history of the market, represent the community vision and pride, and leave a lasting legacy for the brighter future of Bermondsey.”
Takeshi Hayatsu, Director of Hayatsu Architects
Over 700 local people responded to an in-depth community consultation and designs for the market square were changed in light of their feedback, including The Blue’s much-loved lion sculpture remaining at ground level atop a new plinth.
Works to revitalise The Blue are being delivered in stages: a package of shop front improvements is nearly finished and a new pedestrianised cut-through improving connectivity to the market is due to complete in September. Consultation is underway on plans to transform Thorowgoods furniture shop into an arts centre with a three-screen cinema, coffee shop, workspace and flexible community space. Better connections will also be established on Blue Anchor Lane, including a new pedestrian crossing.