Roman Road Trust is an economic and community development trust that serves the needs of its members, the local residents and businesses of Bow and its high street Roman Road and Roman Road Market, in London’s East End.

Like many high streets across the country, Roman Road is struggling to adapt to changes in shopping habits, loss of community infrastructure and degradation of community cohesion.

Our Mission is to create a sustainable community support structure that tackles these issues and affects positive socio-economic change.

Our Vision is for a thriving local economy that gives opportunity and space for communities to flourish.

Why high streets matter

Imagine a community without a high street.

The high street is the life blood of the community providing people with life’s essential – food and drink, clothing and homewares, financial and health services as well as work, skills and social interaction. With the loss of traditional community spaces such as pubs, youth centres, working men’s clubs and churches, the cafes, bars and markets offer vital opportunities for humans to find a sense of connection and shared experience.

Without a healthy, vibrant and diverse high street, unemployment would rise; people would be isolated within their homes; loneliness and mental health issues would increase; pressure on travel and pollution would increase as thousands more people would need to travel elsewhere in order to shop, work and socialise; carers and those tied to the home would be unable to find quality part-time jobs locally; memories, heritage and civic pride would diminish.

Local economies are under threat from changing shopping habits, the demand for housing stock, and increasingly dissipated communities caused by the move towards monocentric cities. This results in lower foot fall; higher rates of business churn and empty shops; lack of high quality local jobs, and a loss of meaningful human interaction and support for the local community.

We believe each high street is unique, with unique challenges and opportunities needing onsite engagement. We believe that sustainable and meaningful regeneration of a local high street can only arise from engaging the local population. We believe in a grass-roots approach to high street regeneration, working closely with local residents and businesses to establish their needs.  We believe in empowering local people and giving them the skills to help them determine their own destiny.