Leytonstone High Road stretches from Maryland in the South to the Green Man roundabout in the North. It’s length is it’s greatest challenge. With relatively low residential densities in it’s hinterland and competition from major box retailers at either end, the level of demand needed to sustain a string of small shops 2.1 miles long is simply not there. Yet, low rents entice local entrepreneurs to start experimenting with novel business models.
Jan Kattein Architects were commissioned in 2016 to develop a strategy that would focus activity along a series of identifiable hubs along the high street. In consultation with ward Councillors and residents, we identified sites on and off the high street and prepared concepts for meanwhile use, public space improvements, lighting and playspace. To support retailers, we launched a shopfront improvement grant scheme for local businesses seeking to transform the appearance of their shop.