High Road grant summary

Karen Liebreich, Abundance London

Schedule 1: The Project

  1. Purpose of project

5 small projects in the High Street Area, including:

  • Large planters for outside Gunnersbury tube station 
  • Planting around Hogarth Statue 
  • Planting up tree pits along Devonshire Road 
  • Creation of a community garden behind Empire House, opposite Chiswick tube station 
  • Community event creating cohesion, celebrating clean up of Turnham Green Terrace 

Conclusion:  4 of the 5 aims were successfully achieved. 

The community garden behind Empire House was cancelled by developers Lendlease with no notice or reasoning after Heads of Terms were agreed. Council officers were immediately notified by Abundance London, and instructions were received to boost the other 4 projects with the Empire House funding.

  1. Grant Period

15th April 2019 – 15th April 2020. The projects were successfully completed by December 2019. 

Schedule 3: Agreed Project Specification

All key milestones, outputs and expected outcomes were achieved between April and December 2019.

  1. Gunnersbury tube station plaza planters
    – Agreement was reached with West Chiswick & Gunnersbury Society about the style of planters.
  • Agreement was reached with Hounslow Highways and LBH Transport Department about position of planters
  • Agreement was reached with Cultivate London to construct and design the planters.
  • Planters constructed by Cultivate apprentices.
  • Planting day carried out by community and apprentices. Local businesses involved.
  • Planting completed. Arrangements made for future maintenance. 
  • Publicity in local media and WCGS website. 
  1. Planting around Hogarth statue on Chiswick High Road
  • Agreement reached with Hounslow Highways re need to improve.
  • Hogarth Trust consulted.
  • Planting agreed with local landscape design group working pro bono.
  • Local businesses consulted re ongoing watering and maintenance.
  • Agreement from Hounslow Highways.
  • Installation carried out in conjunction with Devonshire Road tree pits.
  • Publicity in local media.
  1. Devonshire Road tree pits
  • Agreement reached with Hounslow Highways re need to improve.
  • Consultation with businesses.
  • Discussion on design of edging, steel edging chosen as longer lasting and more stylish than wood. 
  • Edging commissioned and custom built.
  • Planting agreed with local landscape design group working pro bono.
  • Tree protection agreed (underground charcoal/gravel borders to protect trunks), Hounslow Highways consulted.
  • Steel rims delivered to local garage for storage a few days before.
  • Plants, compost, mulch delivered to street; steel rims collected. 
  • Gardeners from local landscape company (Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture) & Hounslow Highways staff gather.
  • Steel rims assembled, tree pits dug out, all planting concluded.
  • Local businesses provide tea and chocolate to encourage workers.
  • Ongoing watering arranged. 
  • Publicity in local websites, twittersphere etc. 
  1. Turnham Green Terrace community event 15th September
  • Completion of piazza project (apart from fountain which is responsibility of Cllr Todd ) involving new benches, planting, bike racks, art work installation, > September 2019.
  • Discussion with LBH about licensing, TMP, bus diversions, parking restrictions, etc.
  • Partnership established with Cookbook Festival.
  • Consultation with local businesses.
  • Sponsorship, involvement of local eateries, events, stalls, participation of many community organisations, security, musicians, tables & chairs, marquees, food, speakers)
  • Pre-publicity in all local media.
  • Road closure, large crowds, great fun, huge success. Businesses report increased revenue, many sold out, stalls sold out. All enthusiastic for repeat next year.  

Schedule 4: Monitoring

Please outline what processes you have put in place to measure the difference made to the individuals and groups you are working. 

We will expect you to report on the outcomes of your project in your final report.  Outcomes are the difference made to participants, volunteers and in some cases the wider community. Please outline what you are doing to ensure you can track the difference made, e.g. surveys with participants at the beginning to measure their starting point. 

  1. Gunnersbury 

Marie Rabouhans, Chair of the West Chiswick & Gunnersbury Society comments: ‘Improving the public realm along our stretch of the Chiswick High Road, especially in the vicinity of Gunnersbury Station is a key part of our Green Up Gunnersbury Campaign. The Cultivate planters have really brightened up a neglected corner near the station and the bulbs will add welcome colour to several frontages in the Spring. We have received compliments from residents and passers-by and are encouraged to expand our efforts next year. Watch this space!’

Their website provides more background and shows happy planters: 


  1. Hogarth statue

This planting has yet to reach its main impact. Once the spring bulbs come through and the shrubs begin to fill out then the impact will really come.

  1. Devonshire Rd tree pits

The traders were very pleased with the result. Again, the planting has yet to reach its main impact which will begin next spring. However, we have received many comments about the steel edging and how it has improved the look of the street. There has been an ongoing problem with flytipping (by drive-bys, but also by residents and businesses) around the trees and this is slowly improving, but still frustrating. 

Some traders said they would rather do their own tree pits (the half of the street further away from the High Road) and they have built wooden edging around 3 pits with planting. Two pits currently remain unedged as the traders said they would rather do their own (physiotherapy studio, antique shop) but we believe they will not bother.

The streetscape is nevertheless much improved. Traders have decided to hold more frequent street parties (eg.7th December)

Comment from Wild Swans, whose shop overlooks one of the hitherto neglected tree pits, said:  “We at Wild Swans were thrilled when we heard of the idea to plant beautiful tree pits on Devonshire Road and they have long been anticipated! A great way of decorating our beloved road – thank you for the gift!” Cecilie Brinckmann

  1. TGT event

Press review:

‘A rolling programme of community events and environmental improvements organised by Abundance London, all of which take a phenomenal amount of work, an attitude of positivity and collaboration and a certain amount of vision.

Gifted to us by a beneficent local council? No. The product of entrepreneurship and market forces? No, not that either. Just the result a few clever and committed people who’ve decided they’d like to see how they can improve their community and a whole load of other people who give up their time and elbow grease to help.

Good on yer.’

Chiswick Calendar, local website

Feedback from the businesses on the Terrace:

You deserve a medal
Thank you so much for organising this great day
We at Macken Brothers
We’re catering blind and was more busy than we anticipated but everyone was happy and we crack on and got on with it
We run out of rolls
But the meat wasn’t a problem even customers went to Marks and Sainsburys  to help us out to get more
Absolutely brilliant
We have a great following and what a great place , we are very lucky
We would love to do again and love to help in the organisation of it all if they is any way we can help
Great trade and fantastic day
Once again what a great idea and love to be part of anything in the future
Your all amazing
Mackens Brothers
“Can I just say this Sunday was a great event. It was truly amazing to see all of the local businesses coming together for the day.”  Sweaty Betty
“I made £xxx thousand. If I had more food I could make double, unfortunately I finished everything. It was nice to have lots of new customers.” Pizza Treat
“The event was also very successful for us and we did a lot better than an ordinary Sunday. I could comfortably say it almost double our foot fall as well as the amount of transactions. We were more than happy with the outcome and we think it was organised beautifully and would love to participate again in the future. Thank you both for great organisation and communication.” Windfall Natural
“Fantastic, a lovely atmosphere, great to see everybody out’ said John Fitzgerald, manager of Snappy Snaps, ‘the busiest I’ve seen the Terrace in years”.
“A wonderful event and a really good opportunity for a new business to meet new people” said Krishan, one of the directors of natural health apothecary Zen Maitri.
“Congratulations on organising such a successful event today!  Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and there was a terrific atmosphere.
FYI from a trading point of view it was ‘win,win,win’ for us – the Children’s Books on the pavement sold well and the shop generally had good sales.”
“Fouberts were falling over themselves serving ice creams and pretty well all the shops that were open were buzzing. Not to mention the food outlets.” Charlotte Aldridge

Comments from the stallholders (small local businesses, clubs and charities)

 “Turnham Green Terrace was a rather wonderful event and all praise to Karen for organising it. As far as DrBike goes I was rushed off my feet… I don’t know what is wrong with the cyclists of Chiswick, but there were 14 brake problems including a couple without brakes…” Brian Smith, Dr Bike

“We just wanted to thank you for including us in the Street party yesterday. We had a fantastic day and sold a record number of books – the best of any event we have attended outside of our own network. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have a stall. We had lots of interest in Hope & Spice and some really lovely conversations with people,”.Amanda Clegg, Hope & Spice

“The whole day was a blast: the weather, the crowd, the atmosphere, all of it was just tremendous, such a good vibe!” Caitlin McCall, Chiswick Chillis

“Karen you are amazing to have put this all together!  What an incredible day!! We loved it and do hope we can reserve space next year again!!  We went through 300 cupcakes and ran out at 2:30!!! Next year we will bring 500!   We brought 500 to 2 days at Green Days and only used 150 so we thought 100 was plenty for 4 hrs!!   Next year we triple everything!!!” Margie Frew, Doddle Bags

“It was a very well organised festival and a joy to be part of, a very impressive event,” Wim, Chiswick Rugby Club

Comments received, via email or twitter:

“An absolute tour de force. I overheard one woman saying “I hope they are going to do this every year”.’

“We were very lucky with the weather.  And Chiswick is very lucky with you.” Joanna Brendon

‘It was a fabulous day and wonderful to see so many families enjoying all the activities.’ Margaret Bailey

“Fabulous street party – you are astonishing !” Jane Nissen

“Karen, what an absolutely stupendous event today. Thank you so much for making it all possible and for helping to light the way forward.” Sally Malin

“Karen and her team of volunteers did an amazing job and, combined with the Book Festival (also organised largely by volunteers) made me so grateful to be lucky enough to live here in Chiswick,” Victoria Provis

“It was really well organised and a credit to all involved and volunteered their time to make it a success.” Dina Potier

“It was an amazing day – thank you to Karen and her team of volunteers. When I attend events like this, I always feel so fortunate to live in Chiswick.” Sandra Jones

“My kids loved the day. Top job doing this stuff.” Kieran Taylor

‘Making roads car free for a day sounds great but… an expensive disaster that leads to even more shops closing for good. Chiswick doesn’t need that.’ Cllr Biddolph

Future of the projects

The Gunnersbury planters, Devonshire Road tree pits and Hogarth planting are installed in long-lasting planters which should ensure many years of improvement for the High Road. They have ongoing maintenance plans in place, with appointed local traders and residents to take care of the planting. Abundance will buy watering cans for the nearby traders for next summer and send reminders when the planting needs watering. In the case of Devonshire  Road and William Hogarth, the local landscape architects (Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture) will also keep an eye on the planting. The Gunnersbury planters will be cared for by the WCGS and the local falafel stall! 

The street party on Turnham Green Terrace was considered a great success and hopefully will be held next year again, run by the Cookbook Festival and he local traders (maybe with some mentoring by Abundance).

Actual spend: (£5,000) [schedules 3 and 4]

1. Gunnersbury planters

Cultivate, inv 5810 £1,704.00 planters

Installed 27.09.19

Budgeted: £1,200 Actual spend: £1,704

2. Hogarth planting 

Equipment (trowels, spade) £24

Bulbs (also includes bulbs for Devonshire Road)  £182

Other plants, included under Devonshire Road budget

Installed: 22.11.19

Budgeted: £300 Actual spend: £206

3. Devonshire Rd tree pits

Steel edging  Steelscapes  inv 01218, 0219 £1,299.32

Other bits £110.65
(stones, tape, corrugated roof panel, corrugated steel surrounds, charcoal, ringgo parking for ‘mobile workshop’)

Planting, How Green Nursery inv 2673 £592.50

Installed 22.11.19

Budgeted: £1,000 Actual spend: £2,002.47

4. Tarmac Garden (abandoned car park) 

Abandoned. Money to be re-allocated to the other projects.

Budgeted: £1,500 Actual spend: £0

5. Turnham Green Terrace event 

Spent for community activities (art, gardening, traffic management, etc)

Marquee rental & erection , inv.28 £150.00
Art materials
(to make insect hotels, bee houses)  £424.00
Art materials
(to make bug totems) £147.95

Other sundry items for street festival £100.90
Traffic management order £324

There were other expenses, which did not fall within the remit of the £500 grant funding. 

15.09.19 – completed

Budgeted:  £500 Total: £1,146.85

Allocated: £5,000 Total: £5,059.32

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