Promoting sense of place through the collaborative celebration of local heritage.
The aim of the project is to safeguard the historic and local heritage of Creekmouth by developing a collaborative project that brings the community together.
Local Task Force
The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) and Barker Langham Consultants were both the main facilitators of the project. In addition, many other participants from different fields were involved such as the Barking Riverside Ltd., the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Creekmouth Preservation Society, the Barking Riverside Residents Association, the Environmental Agency and the local community and schools.
The project was realised through the installation of four public arts around Creekmouth, which marked the area's heritage; the development of a new website for the Creekmouth Preservation Society; the implementation of a training archive for local residents; and the development of a schools programme based on the history and heritage of Creekmouth.
The Creekmouth Preservation Society supported the project's ethical spirit and continues to dedicate its time to raise awareness, especially within the new communities moving into the Barking Riverside development.
The local community was passionate for the project to succeed as many residents grew up and lived in the areas for many years and experienced many waves of settlement and change. This drove the project to collect and preserve the heritage of Creekmouth and Thames Ward and showcase it in such a modern way that made it relevant to existing and new residents. At the political level, ward councillors and community leader were supportive of the initiative.
There were some delays in starting the project as artists needed time to develop their ideas. In addition, delays were also related to bad weather conditions and procurement of materials from overseas suppliers.
The LBBD provided time and resources. In addition, the project received funds from Transport for London and Heritage Lottery Fund, with the support of Barker Langham's Consultants.
The Creekmouth Preservation Society enhanced community participation and spirit and contributed to the design of art installations and the provision of volunteers. Designers, artists, and engineers made a provided their own expertise.
Strokes of Luck
The project was benefited by the additional funds provided by Heritage Lottery Fund. Furthermore, it was crucial to count with the experience of Barker Langham's Consultants in heritage projects as well as the support from the Creekmouth Preservation Society.
The project keeps local heritage at the forefront by educating the local community about the value of Creekmouth history.
The project will enable current and future residents to put in value the historical elements of where they live. In addition, the longevity of the project will be preserved by showcasing the historic areas through permanent art installations, a dedicated website, and schools provision.
Key Lesson Learned
Akhter Shamim, LBBD:
"For the project to succeed it was important to set clear plans and monitor possible risks in order to reduce delays. In addition, it was crucial to establish in advance the responsible person/ body for managing the project as well as its key elements since the difficulty that managing such a broad range of variables implied."