A crowdfunding initiative to create an “elevated urban park” in south London is just £3,000 off its target, after receiving an 11th-hour boost from Southwark Council.
The Peckham Coal Line project has been seeking £65,000 to convert the abandoned Rickett coal sidings that run between Queen's Road Peckham and Peckham Rye train stations into a 900-metre-long park.
Today Southwark Council said it was committing £10,000 towards the scheme – conceived by Central Saint Martins mature student Nick Woodford – which will take the total raised to nearly £62,000. There are nine days left on the project's Spacehive crowdfunding site.
The target will pay for a feasibility study and consultation with local people. It has already received a £10,000 from the Mayor's office.
Councillor Mark Williams, Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “The Peckham Coal Line is an inspired, creative and community driven project that the council is very happy to support.
“While we are primarily focused on delivering the homes and jobs that Peckham and neighbouring areas need, we know that bricks and mortar are not the only things that bind a community.
"It’s brilliant that local people are coming up with really innovative ideas like this to enhance the area for everyone who lives there as well as for visitors, and we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that the Peckham Coal Line hits its target by the end of the month.”
Woodford thanked Southwark for its “support, advice and guidance”, saying this would be “invaluable as we create a new community-led approach to our shared open space”.
The Peckham Coal Line has been compared with New York’s High Line, an old freight track that was turned into a public park in 2009.
Other similar projects include Paris’s Promenade plantée, a disused 19th-century Vincennes railway viaduct that was turned into a park in 1993.