Works on the £10 million public realm improvement of London‘s prestigious Bond Street retail precinct has commenced, with the aim of having it complete by the end of 2018 when the nearby Crossrail station opens.
The 18-month project is regarded as the most ambitious scheme in the Bond Street area in over 30 years, and forms part of a multi-million private and public sector investment programme for London‘s wider West End district as it prepares itself for an additional 60 million visits per year once the Crossrail, or the Elizabeth line, opens.
Yesterday, Westminster City Council leader Cr Nickie Aiken was joined by London Deputy Mayor for Planning Jules Pipe and Fenwick chairman Mark Fenwick, who is also a founding board member of the New West End Company lobby group, to officially “break ground” on phase one of the scheme.
“Bond Street is globally recognised for being an exceptional, world-class retail street and this exciting transformation will ensure it continues to compete head-to-head with the most lucrative international locations,” Cr Aiken said.
“This public-private scheme is the result of a hugely successful partnership and will further enhance the Bond Street brand, ultimately strengthening the prosperity of this iconic part of London.
“This is a key part of our vision to support the ongoing success of the West End, which remains the engine of the London and national economies that creates so many jobs and other opportunities from which everyone can benefit.”
New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrrell echoed Aiken‘s comments and highlighted how much the precinct contributes to the economy.
“Bond Street is unequivocally the centre of global luxury, home to the world‘s most revered luxury brands, jewellers and art galleries where spend exceeds over £1 billion annually,” he said.
The refurbishment will entail the widening of footpaths while still allowing traffic on the street.
There will be an introduction of York stone, green granite and silver granite paving to replace the “patchwork” carriageway and cracked footway paving, and these improvements will be mirrored across the entire stretch of New and Old Bond Street.
The area between Burlington Gardens and Bruton Street will also undergo a transformation, and will feature a new paving layout to create a more intimate and pedestrian-friendly space.
“The West End is vital to the UK’s economy and a major part of London’s attraction as a world city,” Fenwick said.
“But to retain our position as one of the world’s top shopping districts, we need to ensure that the issues that are important to retailers are constantly and effectively promoted to policy makers.
“And we need the public and private sectors to work in partnership to encourage investment, keep our streets clean and safe and promote the West End internationally to investors and visitors.”