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About Besson Street Trust

For more than 17 years, we've been working in New Cross, SE14 to build a connected community with better opportunities and improved health and wellbeing outcomes for local people. Formerly The New Cross Gate Trust, today we employ a core team of eight full-time and part-time people along with an amazing team of sessional workers. We support many other local organisations and interact with and impact directly more than 600 individual beneficiaries every year.



The Besson Street Trust works to provide positive opportunities to local people of all ages and backgrounds. We want to support our local community to lead happy, healthy, stable and fulfilled lives. We want to help build a community in New Cross Gate that is inclusive, confident and ambitious for themselves and for the area, supporting one another to achieve our full potential. 

We are based in the beautiful Besson Street Community Gardens – a real working, fruit-and-veg growing garden with a variety of exotic, ornamental and native species. This provides the setting for our community space, where many of our activities are delivered. 

We also support other local charities and community groups to deliver a wider range of community services elsewhere in New Cross Gate.


We also provide training and development support to local groups to strengthen their skills and capacity, to develop their services, and to build the strength of their organisations. We aim to work in partnership with other groups wherever possible to build the range and quality of services and support available to local people. 



Besson Street Trust traces its roots back to the New Deal For Communities Programme (2001-2011), emerging as a legacy charity with a commitment to social regeneration.  

Established in 2001, the organisation officially commenced operations under the name The New Cross Gate Trust in 2011, concentrating its efforts on revitalising the community of New Cross Gate.  

In a strategic move, the trust received a £4 million property portfolio asset transferred from LB Lewisham to The New Cross Gate Trust, securing a sustainable long-term rental income stream. Nestled within the peaceful Besson Street Community Garden, the trust initially operated with just two permanent staff members but has since expanded its team to include eight permanent staff and additional sessional workers.  

Reflecting its evolution and the name most frequently used for the Trust, the organisation officially changed its name to the Besson Street Trust in 2024, underscoring its ongoing commitment to community development and social renewal in the New Cross Gate area. 


Besson Street
Development Site

In early 2018, Grainger, the UK's largest listed residential landlord, partnered with Lewisham Council to develop the site adjacent to our headquarters in Besson Street. This land is not owned by Besson Street Trust. 

The planning application for this major rental housing scheme was submitted in November 2019 and approved on 30 July 2020. The development includes 324 residential units, flexible retail and commercial spaces, a pharmacy, a GP surgery (to replace the current Queens Road surgery), and new community space for Besson Street Trust.  

Notably, 35% of the new homes will be let at 'London Living Rent,' with rent increases aligned with inflation. The rental income from the homes will contribute to local authority services and the construction of new social homes.  

While Besson Street Trust recognises the need for more social housing, it acknowledges the importance of providing high-quality, affordable housing for local working families. The Trust, although not owning the land, will benefit from leasing the GP surgery and community space, ensuring a sustainable financial model for vital community services. The development aims to maximize environmental opportunities, green spaces, and energy efficiency.  

The GP surgery, an enhanced replacement for the Queens Road surgery, will offer increased capacity and services.  

The project aims to commence in Autumn 2025 with completion scheduled for end of 2028. Register for our newsletter for regular updates.

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