Oxford Street in London is set for a major overhaul – reportedly costing £90 million.
Westminster City Council and business management consultant New West End Company (NWEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to restore the London shopping district.
The MoU – which represents 600 retail, restaurant, hotel, and property owners across the West End – sets out how the public-private venture will joint fund the project.
£7.7 million to fund the next phase of design work was unlocked when the council this week formally approved the scheme’s business case.
“After years of abandoned schemes” it is hoped the move will attract top brands back to the area, according to the Evening Standard. IKEA and HMV have already expressed interest.
The plans cover the entire 1.8 km length of Oxford Street, from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road.
Junctions joining the street, including at Oxford Circus, will be redesigned.
Twelve new pedestrian crossings will be installed, as well as improvements to 45 existing crossing points.
Other features include improved footways, greening and seating.
Additional schemes will further enhance surrounding streets and key locations, said the council.
Construction is expected to start in the Autumn of 2024.
The council did not share which companies it has approached for the works when asked.
“After years of abandoned schemes, we are now about to finally get underway with a deliverable plan to breathe new life into Oxford Street,” said Cllr Geoff Barraclough, Westminster City Council. “With the support of our partners at NWEC, we now have a coalition of the council, retailers, landowners, and others in place to develop a practical but also ambitious plan.
“The West End constantly needs to adapt if it is to continue to be a draw to shoppers. The buzz is definitely back on Oxford Street with brands like IKEA and HMV taking up space in Oxford Street, and the prospect of new galleries and arts spaces will make it a great all-round experience.”
Adding: “The UK’s high street needs to be a place that local communities, residents, and visitors can feel pride in. The New West End Company and Westminster City Council have a long track record in successful collaboration, and together with local communities we will work to ensure it remains a prime visitor attraction.”
Dee Corsi, CEO of NWEC added: “We are delighted to be working with Westminster City Council and our members on the enhancement of Oxford Street’s public realm. This is just one part of a bigger, once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity to regenerate one of the world’s most iconic retail and leisure destinations.
“We are confident that the proposed plans, that have been well received by both the local community and businesses, will catapult it into the twenty first century.
“Alongside ambitious mixed-use developments, experiential retail and immersive leisure offerings, an improved public realm is the missing centre piece of the jigsaw that will ensure long term sustainable growth.”
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