Lake to become swim venue


A lake in one of South-east London’s biggest park’s is to be transformed into a place where people can swim thanks to a donation of almost half a million pounds from City Hall.

Lewisham’s largest green space, Beckenham Place Park, was awarded £440,000 from Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, as part of his push to make London the world’s first National Park City.

It is one of six winning projects announced to receive a share of the £2m funding pot from the Mayor’s Greener City Fund.

The money will be used to plant thousands of new trees and support the restoration of one of the park’s key heritage features – a Georgian lake – that will create a new wildlife habitat and be used for open water swimming. Beckenham Place Park, which is 30 per cent larger than Greenwich Park, is undergoing a multi-million pound regeneration.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “This is really fantastic news. Since the start of the regeneration work in Beckenham Place Park, we’ve already seen an increase in the number of visitors. This additional funding will be a significant boost to our plans to conserve and enhance this park, attracting even more people to come and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.”

Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan with Sophie McGeevor, cabinet member for parks, neighbourhoods and transport

Mr Egan also announced that he is bidding for at least £50million from the first-ever City Hall programme dedicated to supporting council house building. The Building Council Homes for Londoners scheme was launched on Wednesday, May 16 by Sadiq Khan. The new funding will be used to help deliver Mr Egan’s manifesto pledge of 1,000 new social homes in Lewisham by 2022. Mr Egan said: “I am delighted to support the launch of this vital new housing initiative from the Mayor of London. We will bid for at least £50million from the council house building fund.

“Building Council Homes for Londoners shows how councils and City Hall can work together to tackle the housing crisis and I confirm today that Lewisham will be a dedicated partner to Sadiq in delivering the new council homes that we need.

“Lewisham is committed to building new and genuinely affordable council homes in our borough with stable and secure tenancies. We will deliver 1,000 new social homes in Lewisham, which is just one part of our wide ranging approach to tackling the housing crisis.”

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