The borough understands the power that culture and relative opportunity has to transform lives, create strong communities and drive employment. However, a thriving arts and culture industry, with talented people and incredible cultural assets, needs supporting infrastructure to be in place for people to benefit.
Through strong leadership and lobbying, Waltham Forest Council invested £5 million capital funding and secured investment from partners to officially reopen Lea Bridge Station in May 2016, following a 31-year closure.
Reopening this station has been instrumental in raising hopes of a property and economic boom for a large part of east London, and will deliver benefits of 10,000 new homes, 5,000 new jobs and even more cultural and community spaces in Waltham Forest.
More than £11 million was spent replacing the station, which at the time of reopening, was forecast to serve 352,000 passengers a year by 2031. By July 2018, passenger numbers had already exceeded this projection – 13 years earlier than anticipated. The station has half-hourly services and given its success, is expected to double in frequency in 2019.
Driving growth in Leyton
Reopening Lea Bridge Station has driven growth in Leyton and opened up this significant transport corridor in London, providing the area with better and faster links to some of London’s crucial transport hubs, and making it a more attractive prospect for developers, businesses and residents, unlocking commercial and cultural opportunities, delivering much needed housing and increasing employment opportunities for local people.
Developers are seeing the potential Leyton that has helping to establish this corner of London. Hill Construction and Peabody Trust are currently active at a site opposite the station, building 300 new homes.
The 3 council-owned sites neighbouring Lea Bridge Station went out to market, attracting a record 65 expressions of interest, with the council planning to provide around 300 much needed new homes as well as new employment, commercial and cultural uses.