Reducing car use and improving environment are key aims
Enfield Town is set to be “transformed” after the Mayor of London awarded the council £6million to improve public spaces and make the town centre more accessible.
Enfield Council is now set to enter talks with business owners and local groups over ways to attract more shoppers to the area and help boost trade, with no firm plans having yet been made.
The money has been awarded to the council under Transport for London’s ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ fund, which rewards schemes that make town centres “cleaner, greener, and more pleasant places to live”. It is expected to focus on improving Market Square, the area outside Enfield Town Station, and reducing car use along Church Street.
There have been growing concerns over the fate of Enfield Town with residents, businesses and councillors calling on the local authority to do more to reduce the number of empty shops. Council leader Nesil Caliskan told the Dispatch: “We want to connect the town centre. One of the big issues is the public realm. When you come out of the station at Enfield Town and you try to cross the road, it takes ages. That whole area could be improved.
“We want to keep the market at the heart of any improvements we make. If we are honest, it is not reaching its full potential. The town is looking a bit drab and it is a tough time for local businesses.
“These need to be nice places people want to hang out and spend their time.”
Chris Theodoulou, vice chair of Enfield Town Business Association, welcomed the TfL grant. He told the Dispatch: “We would like to be involved in the discussions before any consultation and we are in dialogue with the council leader and that is a good thing. She seems to understand what we are putting forward.
“We want to see it spent on events and making the street scene better – Christmas lights, markets, Library Green having a flow of things going on so you can bring families to the area. We need to make Enfield Town the destination it once was – we need families.”
The council will also enter into talks with Deutsche Bank – which over the last two years has purchased both the Palace Gardens and Palace Exchange shopping centres – with a view to improving accessibility. Creating an evening economy in Enfield Town is an aim.
However, one idea has been ruled out. Cllr Caliskan said: “In the past there have been suggestions of pedestrianisation but that is not what we are thinking about with this.”
Earlier plans for a revamp drawn up as part of the £30m Cycle Enfield scheme were ditched after negative feedback. But while revamped road junctions and segregated cycle routes could now be taken forward, Cllr Caliskan said: “This money is about regenerating the town centre and cycle lanes alone won’t do that.”