General Gordon Square
The council says it wants to make Woolwich more welcoming Credit: The Greenwich Wire

Woolwich has been declared a “night time enterprise zone” by London mayor Sadiq Khan, which aims to make the area more accessible and welcoming after 6pm.

Greenwich Council has been given £130,000 to work with local businesses on offering a range of activities to bring people into the town centre after dark.

City Hall says that a “year-round mix of events” is planned to encourage locals and visitors to think of the area as a nightlife destination. Plans include a low-level lighting scheme to connect the town centre and the Royal Arsenal.

A pilot scheme in Walthamstow three years ago is said to have increased football in the town centre by 22 per cent.

The announcement comes just three weeks after the council spent £10,000 fencing off part of Woolwich town centre because of fears that youths with fireworks would attack police and council wardens.

Greenwich Council leader Anthony Okereke said: “This is an exciting opportunity to develop a more vibrant, diverse and inclusive night-time economy in Woolwich.

“The Night Time Enterprise Zone will boost our ongoing work to encourage more people to support Woolwich businesses and spend time in our high streets. We want our residents and businesses to feel the benefit of this.

“Our involvement in the programme should help build confidence in the town centre as a night time destination, connecting the growing night time activity on the Arsenal with the town centre and boosting Woolwich’s profile as a ‘lates’ destination. We look forward to working with local businesses and communities to develop a programme that brings enduring benefits for the area.”

Earlier this year separate plans were unveiled which would include alter Beresford Square, the traditional market area, to make it more suitable for late-night businesses.

Bromley town centre is also receiving £130,000 in Night Time Enterprise Zone funds. The money will be used to host night markets, “library lates and sporting lates”, and to revamp the lighting in the high street.

Elsewhere in London, Vauxhall is the other recipient of City Hall money to help it celebrate its LGBT history.

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