The Grange Big Local area is in East Finchley, Barnet. It is a place with many strengths to draw upon: it has a friendly and active community, is quite leafy and green and generally feels quite safe; it has good transport links and is close to central London and yet manages to maintain a ‘village feel’; and it has many local community assets such as Martin Primary School and the Ann Owens centre. People surveyed like the range of green spaces and play facilities, the local shops, and the improvements in local schools.
However the area also faces challenges. The Grange Big Local area has a high density of social housing and one of its LSOAs (Lower Super Output Areas) falls in the 30% most deprived in the country (Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010). Residents suggest one weakness of the area is a lack of a ‘community heart’, a place to bring its diverse population together. People who took part in a survey
we conducted expressed a strong desire to see more community events and activities specifically for young people and children and they highlighted the lack of a centrally-located community space as an obstacle to this desire.
Within the scope of the survey respondents also expressed a desire for the playgrounds and parks in the area to be enhanced, the need for more play equipment, and better environmental maintenance in general. The community workshop also highlighted a desire for the green spaces within the Grange Big Local boundaries to be utilised further.