Small firms and Chelsea Show rally to help Cody Dock reopen for Olympics

Small businesses and organisers of the Chelsea Flower Show are rallying behind a community project to reopen the derelict Cody Dock on the River Lea in time for the Olympics.

Simon Myers, who is campaigning to reopen the dock which has been derelict since east London’s huge Bromley-by-Bow gasworks closed more than 40 years ago, is trying to raise �140,000 to use the site to fill the only gap in the 26-mile Fat Walk following the river from Hertfordshire to Blackwall.

He has �60,000 pledged so far—�13,000 in the last week alone—on the ‘crowdsourcing’ website which raises funds from the public for community projects.

But he has just nine days left to reach his �140,000 target before his website deadline runs out.

“I’m hoping Boris Johnson might help out,” said Simon. “The Mayor of London has pledged to rejuvenate the whole Lower Lee Valley.

“The GLA is holding the assets of the former London Thames Gateway Development Corporation which invested �15 million in regenerating the riverbanks. We only need �80,000.”

Simon, 38, former arts and British Museum project manager, wants the GLA to fill in the financial gap—so his army of community volunteers can fill in the physical gap and get the Fat Walk completed in time for the Olympics opening on July 27.

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Meanwhile, businesses in the area this week pledged support, including the Isle of Dogs Skip Hire company whose boss turned up at the dock, saw the project and immediately pledged �1,000. Other companies have promised �500 apiece.

Trad Scaffold Boards in Bromley-by-Bow is giving a 60 per cent discount on the 3,000ft of boarding the volunteers need to start planting and laying out the missing section of the Fat Walk and is also delivering it free.

Organisers of this week’s Chelsea Flower Show agreed to send plants, soil and compost left over when it finishes on Sunday night. A fleet of vans is due to deliver the plants on Monday for the volunteers to start work.

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