Julia Holberry Associates wrote Abney Park Cemetery’s Activity Plan in support of the Round 2 application. As one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries in London, it is the resting place of around 200,000 people in approximately 60,000 graves. A much-loved local green space, the project saw the restoration of key buildings and monuments, supported by an inventive activity programme.
We undertook extensive consultation with decision-makers to determine aspirations for the future and subsequently with three focus groups of non-user families and meetings with nine local community organisations. Hackney has a very diverse community – most of whom wouldn’t dream of leisure time in a former Cemetery – and our consultation focused on the sort of things would bring people over the threshold. A key plank of the plan was to have a series of paid representatives in each community. The Activity Plan responded very strongly to community ideas and we worked closely with the architects and interpretative planners to ensure a consistent approach across the whole site.
Abney received its Round 2 funding in January 2020. We chose this project because it demonstrates our work with diverse communities in London, on a tricky subject, how our plans respond strongly to public consultation and how we work effectively with other consultants.