NME Award-winning Croydon musician Loyle Carner launched a global campaign yesterday with plans to revitalise a prominent space in Thornton Heath.
The Ambassador House forecourt was the location for the Nature Needs Heroes launch party, which saw outdoorwear brand Timberland commit to planting 50 million trees over the next five years, with the help of Loyle.
Over the next six months, as part of the campaign, the forecourt will be transformed into a green, healthy space for residents to enjoy. These plans build on the work already undertaken by Croydon Council and the community to revitalise the space.
During the day, the forecourt was taken over by Timberland, London National Park City Foundation and Loyle himself to give residents a taster of what the space could look like, with landscape architects Urban Growth hosting workshops showing people how they can make their own spaces greener. Residents also gave their feedback on new proposals for the space, and were treated to live performances from Thornton Heath collective See Our Seven.
Another Croydon location, The BRIT School, where Loyle studied, is also benefitting from the partnership, with a new meditation garden.
London National Park City Foundation and Timberland also announced the start of a three-month search for 50 volunteer London National Park City Rangers to kick-start new urban greening projects like the Ambassador House forecourt across the capital.
At the launch party last night, Loyle said the partnership was an opportunity to give back to the place that raised him.
He said: “What we’ve done right now is begun to change Thornton Heath, Croydon. When I was younger I used to have to go all the way from here to central London to do anything, so thank you very much for coming down here and supporting my local community.
“It’s wicked. This is one of the rare brand partnership things that you see where you’re actually able to create an actual change and activate a change. We spent a whole day with people from my local community talking about what they want to see. I think this is actually quite important.”
“It was great to have Loyle and Timberland add their support to our plans to improve the Ambassador House forecourt for the Thornton Heath community to enjoy.
“To have Loyle in attendance during the day, along with Urban Growth and London National Park City to speak to the community really helped bring the plans to life.
“We’re excited and can’t wait to see how the proposals develop as Croydon leads the way in urban greening.”
Councillor Paul Scott, cabinet lead for planning and regeneration