// Westminster City Council commits on major investment for transformation of Oxford Street
// New West End Company announces “1000 day countdown” to radical changes for shopping area
// International Centre status will drastically change how Oxford Street businesses operate
The biggest changes to Oxford Street in 50 years will take place between now and 2023 in a retail transformation that the New West End Company says will “catalyse the birth of a new West End”.
Westminster City Council has committed to investing up to £150 million over the next three years to transform the area, including a proposed public piazza at Oxford Circus and a public square at Marble Arch.
More footpath space is also high on the agenda for Europe’s busiest shopping street, which hosts over half a million daily visitors.
Extra investment is also expected after the council and the Mayor of London classified Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street as an “international centre” in their draft city plans.
In what has been described as a “1000 day countdown” to the radical changes, New West End Company’s Oxford Street 2022 report said years of delays for Crossrail and a “stop-start” campaign to pedestrianise Oxford Street had impacted the area’s reputation.
“London’s West End is not beyond the wider malaise of the retail sector,” said New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrrell.
“However, the £2.9 billion investment from public and private sectors will catalyse the birth of a new West End. Additionally, the new deal will see the West End secure “International Centre” status which will lead to a generational shift in how Oxford Street is used.”
The reclassification will allow businesses to change how the street is used, adding more leisure attractions alongside its retail offering.
“Customers will be so spoilt: the rise of brand temples will offer more than just products but experience and reasons to visit; new green pedestrian spaces will emerge; a super speed Crossrail will connect Heathrow Airport to the West End in less than 30 minutes; a vibrant Oxford Street will allow visitors to experience the very best retail, leisure and hospitality,” said Tyrrell.
The New West End Company added that the area around Oxford Street is expected to see 60 million annual visitors by 2022 as a result of Crossrail and the Elizabeth Line, which are set to boost spend by £13.2 billion, a 40 per cent increase in turnover from 2019.
The news comes a week ahead of Oxford Street’s Christmas Switch-On Shopping Event on Thursday November 21, when the famous shopping district will unveil a brand new lighting scheme featuring 27 LED light curtains draped over the length of the street, made up of 220,000 sparkling lights.