Learn more about Thamesmead – its past, present and future
Thamesmead during the First World War
Thamesmead is known for its abundance of green spaces. It has five lakes, 7km of waterways, over 150 hectares of open space and two nature reserves. It has a long history. Local attractions include:
Thamesmead’s story began in the 1960s, when the then Greater London Council developed plans for a new town to be built on the Erith and Plumstead Marshes.
Thamesmead under construction in 1970
The aim was to relieve London’s housing shortage and create a 'Town of the 21st Century' (the name Thamesmead was chosen by a Bexley resident in a 'Name Our New Town' competition).
The early days at Southmere LakeWatch a video about the building of Thamesmead
The first residents moved to Thamesmead in 1968 and a strong community began to form.
Residents at Tavy Bridge during the 1970s
Trust Thamesmead was set up in 1976 to support community provision and activities.
The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986, and Thamesmead was then managed by Thamesmead Town Ltd, a private company controlled by the residents themselves.
In 1999 Thamesmead Town Ltd was restructured and Gallions Housing Association was set up to manage homes and open spaces, while Trust Thamesmead become an enlarged community development organisation. Both were funded by Tilfen Land, a new private property development company.
When Peabody acquired Gallions, Trust Thamesmead and Tilfen Land in 2014, it meant housing, community investment and over 100 acres of developable land in Thamesmead became owned by a single, well-resourced organisation for the first time in a generation.
In spring 2016, Peabody announced its proposals for a £1bn regeneration programme for South Thamesmead over the next ten years. This, together with two Housing Zones which are being led by the London Borough of Bexley and Royal Borough Greenwich and delivered by Peabody with funding from the Mayor of London’s office, has pushed Thamesmead into the top 50 regeneration projects in the UK.