Becontree Forever is a programme of art, architecture and new infrastructure to mark 100 years of the Becontree Estate in 2021. The Becontree Estate is the biggest council estate in the UK and the most ambitious of the country’s interwar housing estates. The first of 27,000 houses for returning war heroes and working families were built on the four square-mile estate in November 1921, with the ‘Garden City’ houses and iconic ‘Banjo’ closes recognised across the world.
The centenary is an opportunity to celebrate the estate’s groundbreaking and radical beginnings, but also to reimagine Becontree’s future. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is committing to rebuilding the estate for current residents and future generations, starting with major investment in retrofitting, parks and transport and in extending Kingsley Hall (the estate’s first community centre) and purchasing Dagenham Heathway (a 1.3 hectare Eighties-built shopping centre on the estate).
Becontree Forever is led by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, in collaboration with residents and local partners such as the schools on the estate, Arc Theatre, Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance, East End Women’s Museum, Girls Like Us, Green Shoes Arts, Love Music Hate Racism, Studio 3 Arts, Soul and Sound and The White House and national partners such as Create London, EFG London Jazz Festival, Focal Point Gallery, Serpentine Galleries and the Wellcome Trust.
As part of Becontree Forever, the arts organisation Create London has been supported to deliver a series of projects and commissions. Create London is grateful for the funding and support of: