Brixton town has been awarded the title of Great Neighbourhood by a major national competition.
The town centre was awarded the accolade at the Academy of Urbanism Awards on Friday. Judges said the area had gone from “no go” to a thriving place to live, without losing its diversity.
The panel said: “Lambeth Council, working with local people and agencies, has tackled many inner city issues which contributed to a negative public image, such as drug dealing and gang culture and declining market, retail and business sectors; without losing the vitality and diversity that it is famous for. It has changed from a ‘no go’ area to an attractive and inviting place to live, work and visit.”
Commenting on the Windrush Square improvements the judges added: “A heart has been created where before there was an unfriendly traffic island, and a variety of social and economic regeneration projects have breathed a fresh sense of pride into living, working and visiting Brixton.”
Cllr Lib Peck, Cabinet member for Regeneration on Lambeth Council, said: “This award will come as no surprise to local people who know what a fantastic place Brixton is, but it’s great to have outside recognition for some of the really positive changes that local people, business and the council have worked together to achieve over the past few years.
“Challenges remain, not least making sure that all Brixton residents can share in the improvements the town has seen and ensuring the unique character that makes the place so special is not lost. But I’m really excited and confident about the future. Brixton has a really strong community that works positively with the council to get things done, and that’s one of the main reasons it’s such a great place.”
Brixton beat off stiff competition from two other neighbourhoods on the shortlist Bourneville, Birmingham, and the Creative Quarter, Folkestone, after expert judges visited all three areas earlier this year.