Council invites local people to help shape improvements to Arnott Close and Leslie Smith Square  

We know that residents and businesses know their areas better than anyone, so we are asking them to participate in the design of each public space. Workshops and steering groups will be starting from late March, with the construction works set to begin this summer, and be completed early next year.  

The Council has appointed landscape architect Exterior Architecture to work closely with the community to co-design the improved space. Through community participation, the works will aim to improve accessibility, connectivity and the safety of residents, and to boost local people’s pride in their neighbourhoods. To deliver the work at Arnott Close, the Council is collaborating with Peabody, the main landowner in the Thamesmead area. At Leslie Smith Square, the Council is working with Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA), who run the Woolwich Common Community Centre on the square, to engage the community.  

Working with Peabody and GCDA to run the workshops and steering groups in Thamesmead and Woolwich, the Council wants to ensure the community has the opportunity to be involved from the start of the process.  

Councillor Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills “Shopping parades like Arnott Close and Leslie Smith Square play a vital role in their communities, nurturing a sense of belonging and enriching local people’s lives.  

“This work will help improve the accessibility, as well as the look and feel, of these two locations, creating a more welcoming space for people to live, work, shop and play, and helping to instil residents and businesses with a sense of pride in their local area. Well-maintained, vibrant spaces are also shown to stimulate spend and activity at businesses on the shopping parade, which are crucial to a thriving local economy. 

“We want proposals to be developed by the community, for the community, so we encourage residents and local businesses to get involved, and work with Council, architects, Peabody and GCDA, to ensure the final designs reflect their views and local needs.” 

Once the community’s priorities have been incorporated into the design, the architects will present the design concepts for consideration back to the community and to the Council. Once any final changes have been made, the designs will be implemented by early 2025. 

Kate Batchelor, Head of Landscape & Placemaking for Thamesmead at Peabody, said: “Community co-design and collaboration is a core part of the work we’re doing in Thamesmead as part of the town’s long-term regeneration. Arnott Close is a busy neighbourhood centre, so working with local people to improve the accessibility, look and feel of the space will be of huge benefit to those who visit the area. We look forward to teaming up with the Royal Borough of Greenwich to help facilitate these important changes.”

Claire Pritchard, CEO, GCDA, said: "Community engagement lies at the heart of GCDA's work and we are delighted to help facilitate discussions on the future of Leslie Smith Square. We can't wait to see what creative ideas local people put forward for its future use." 

The Council is investing up to £365K to make these improvements, having secured the funding to implement the projects from the Mayor of London’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).  

Residents and local businesses can get involved by emailing 

The workshop and steering group meeting schedule will be shared soon. 

Notes to editors

The location selection process

The Council identified a list of locations in the borough that could benefit from the investment allocated to the Royal Borough of Greenwich from the Mayor of London’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund. After site visits and discussions with relevant local stakeholders, these areas were shortlisted, using the following criteria, as places where: 

1.    There is a demonstrable need for improvement in the appearance, access and increased use of the area. 

2.    There is potential to devise, design and implement improvements within the timeframe available (by March 2025) 

3.    The scale of scheme is such that there is a reasonable prospect of enough funding to deliver a meaningful scheme.  

4.    The need to think about geographic spread and to avoid the over emphasis on places currently already in receipt of significant Council and other resources 

5.    There is potential for a coherent and active response and participation from communities and stakeholders in each location to maximise local support and sustainability of interventions. 

Following careful consideration, which looked at how well each location fit the criteria, Arnott Close and Leslie Smith Square were selected as the two areas for the improvement works.  

Mayor of London’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)

UKSPF is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit