An inspired group of Mottingham residents is putting its regeneration plans into action on Sunday with its first major project since attaining a £1 million grant.
Currently called ‘The Big Local Family’, the collective is set to host the area’s first ever food and drink festival in Nunnington Close on Sunday (Aug 24).
Organisers say the event will be a celebration of Mottingham’s diversity, celebrating foods from the likes of Jamaica, Angola, the the UK, and seeing music from local acts.
Residents are benefitting from the Big Local initiative, in which around 150 urban communities will see £1 million funding over 10 years to help with rejuvenation.
Lorraine Gibson, 35, from Court Farm Road, is one of 12 core members and is excited about the investment: “This is great for Mottingham.
“There are so many different things we’re trying to bring to the area and we thought a festival was a good way to kick-off.
“We want to make some big changes here, which we feel is often forgotten.”
The former banker added although £1 million sounds like a lot of money, realistically it will only act as a springboard to work from.
She added: “Hopefully it will help put things in place so we can move forward and help create more of a community here.”
Actor Peter Thomas, from Kersey Gardens, also feels the money will be paramount to changing peoples’ perceptions of Mottingham.
The 44-year-old explained: “The festival is using a small part of the grant and we hope it’s the start of a lot more.
“It’s about proving our mettle and initiative.
“It’s great – and we want the money to be a foundation. I don’t think £1 million is going to change anything right now but through this investment we can begin to change things.”
Big Local says the money is about “bringing together local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live”.
It is run by Local Trust, which is working with over £200m from the Big Lottery Fund and other partners.