Centenary celebration of Dagenham’s Becontree Estate wins National Lottery support

Tuesday, 09 April 2019

(c) Verity-Jane Keefe

We are thrilled to announce we have been awarded initial *National Lottery support to develop a year-long project marking the centenary of Dagenham’s Becontree Estate, in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council, local residents, heritage organisations and artist Verity-Jane Keefe. 2021 will mark 100 years since building began on what was once the largest social housing estate in the world.

Living Together will take a critical look at the past 100 years of social housing through the lens of this hugely significant Estate. The project will put the Becontree Estate firmly at the heart of national and international conversations about the past, the present and possible futures for social housing.  Led by the voices of past and present residents, the project will embrace and explore the complexities of this large form suburban estate, which is still home to over half the residents of this London Borough.  The project will provide a platform for the individual spirit that can be found in every corner of the four-square mile footprint of the Becontree.

This project has received development funding of £ 74,700 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help progress its plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £448,000 later in 2019. London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has also received £29,750 of project grant funding from Arts Council England, for a year-long artist’s residency by Verity-Jane Keefe, producing work that will enrich the wider programme in the lead-up to 2021.  The architecture and scale of the estate is well known, but it is the more recent history – how housing policy, such as Right to Buy, has impacted the way that Becontree looks and what it is like to live in, today and into the future.

Living Together will be the largest creative heritage-driven social engagement programme to take place on the Becontree Estate. 

For local residents, groups and organisations wanting to get involved, please contact Verity-Jane Keefe:  hello@verityjanekeefe.co.uk