Shape Newham

Improving public spaces together

Beckton, East Ham, Forest Gate, Green Street, Little Ilford, Manor Park, Maryland and Plaistow.


Deadline for submissions is 20 October 2019. Please download a PDF with more details and how to apply here.

Newham Council are investing £1.5m in imaginative and original public art and public realm enhancements across eight of its town centres. These improvements will help create more attractive places for residents and help to support the high street, its businesses and the delivery of the Mayor’s Community Wealth Building agenda.

  • Newham is a great place to live and we want to make it better – through Shape Newham we will improve places together.
    Rohksana Fiaz OBE, Mayor of Newham

We want your design ideas for the town centres in Beckton, East Ham, Forest Gate, Green Street, Little Ilford, Manor Park, Maryland and Plaistow. As part of a series of interactive workshops you will be able to suggest and vote for your favourite projects. There are lots of opportunities to get involved and collaborate with the council, architects and local artists to develop these further. In 2020, the results of this community collaboration will be revealed across all eight town centres.

Assembly 1 
26 September 2019 at 6–8.30pm
Beckton Community Centre

Assembly 1   
9 October 2019 at 6–8.30pm  
Applecart Arts

Assembly 1
16 October 2019 at 6–8.30pm
Forest Gate Youth Zone

We want to ensure that the diversity of voices from Newham’s many communities are heard and included. This vital contribution to the process will help to inspire the designers and local artists working on the projects. We will encourage local people to record their own stories and those of others by providing training in radio interviewing and recording skills. These recordings will be edited and woven together to make a series of community podcasts that will be shared on this website and at a community listening event. 

The communities will be involved in the decision making and will use the same voting format that was developed for the Citizen Assemblies last year. For this process, the local communities will discuss their priorities and help determine the location for each project. Following this, members from the local community will be able to put themselves forward to be part of a working group for each town centre project. Their role on the working groups will be to review and contribute to the design process as each project develops.

Shape Newham will work with artists and will prioritise those who live or work in Newham. The project team will support artists during the commissioning process. The first call for artists will be in announced in September.

The project team have been researching Newham’s rich history and have compiled a list of current makers and material suppliers. We hope that the majority of projects can be made by local suppliers and craftspeople in line with the council’s Community Wealth Building agenda. Artists and designers will be required to make local connections to deliver their works trying to ensure every aspect of the project is created and made in Newham.

Part of this process will also be training local volunteers to help contribute to the actual making of some of the projects. Opportunities will be advertised in November 2019. We will also be seeking applications from residents for five paid work experience opportunities to work directly with our designers on some of the Shape Newham projects. Details will be advertised on this website and via Workplace in January/February 2020.

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For further information about the Shape Newham programme please contact


The development of Shape Newham is supported by AOC Architecture in collaboration with a team of designers that include Carver Haggard, Office S&M, Europa, Social Broadcasts and Local Works Studio. The design team, along with local artists, will ensure that the development and delivery of all projects reflect and represent the people and places of Newham.