Herne Hill Revitalisation Project
This summer term year 12 Economics students were asked by the Herne Hill Forum to conduct an investigation into the reasons behind the decline of Herne Hill’s retail sector over the last few months and to make recommendations about what could be done to rejuvenate the local economy. The students also visited “Pop Brixton”, where they were treated to lunch by one of the eateries there, to see if there are any lessons to be learned from its success.
Economics students learn “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”
Their research incorporated a local “historic” tour of the area, a talk from representatives of the Herne Hill Forum and interviews with local residents and traders, as well as an online survey to the Charter community of parents and students. The students are very grateful to have received over 200 responses to the survey giving them an excellent sample to analyse.
The survey results showed that although respondents had relatively high incomes, they are spending quite low amounts in Herne Hill. 82% of residents surveyed said they currently do most of their shopping in Brixton, mainly because there is a more vibrant atmosphere and wider range of shops, bars and restaurants. This was supported by the students’ own observations during their visit to “Pop Brixton”.
Some of the things that local residents and traders have indicated in the survey that they would like to see include:
- More iconic shops, bars and restaurants e.g. onestr BurgerHHonest Burger, Nandos, etc
- More night-life including a wine bar and cinema
- Easing of the traffic flow under the railway bridge
The project culminated with the students presenting their findings and recommendations to a panel from the Herne Hill Forum at The Illusioneer’s incredible theatre, where the students delighted to see the Illusioneer himself cut off Mr Somerville’s hand.The students made a highly professional presentation including the following recommendations:
- Increase the range of shops in Herne Hill by putting unused arches in to use. Simulate the variety and excitement from Pop Brixton by creating a pedestrianized area at Station Square or the Bath Estate
- Increase evening activity with events such as fireworks, music festivals, and Herne Hill film festival.
- Improve the attractiveness/vitality of Station Square especially in the evening/night. E.g. wine bar from responses
- Bring iconic shops/restaurants to Herne Hill, such as Nandos, Byron, Franco Manca and Five Guys.