The government has granted funding to the tune of £319.5m to Barnet Council to deliver the new Brent Cross West station and critical infrastructure – funding which will also unlock a new town centre for north-west London.
The Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme will deliver overall 7,500 new homes, more than 3 million sq ft of workspace, up to 27,000 news jobs, new and improved schools and parks and the new station which will link to central London in under 15 minutes.
The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius welcomed today’s announcement External linkby saying: “Brent Cross Cricklewood is the council’s largest regeneration programme and will transform this area of Barnet, bringing wide-ranging benefits to the whole area. The people who already live in the area will be joined by new residents and businesses in what will be a fantastic place to live, work and enjoy.
“We know that housing is a very important issue for our residents and more widely in London. That is why we are tackling this problem head-on by building new houses. This scheme will be a great example of regeneration can improve and enhance neighbourhoods.”
Argent Related, Barnet Council’s joint venture partner, is the developer for the Brent Cross South scheme on the south side of the A406.
Partner at Argent Related Andre Gibbs said: “This is great news for the joint venture and signifies a step change, converting the vision we share with Barnet Council for Brent Cross into reality.”
The grant will be partially repayable from the growth in business rates from the expansion of Brent Cross Shopping Centre and the council’s profits from the Brent Cross South scheme. The council will benefit from the business rates generated from Brent Cross South, which will have a positive impact on the council’s finances in the future.
Work has already begun on site with associated rail works and the council is currently undertaking a procurement competition to appoint a contractor in Autumn 2019 to construct the station.
The programme consists of three schemes – Brent Cross South – a joint venture between Barnet Council and developer Argent Related to deliver a large scale mixed-use development of new homes and 3million sq ft commercial space with new and improved schools and parks; Brent Cross Thameslink – a joint venture between Barnet Council and Capita to construct the new Brent Cross West Thameslink station, replacement sidings and driver accommodation to serve the Govia Thameslink and East Midland trains, along with critical highways infrastructure to unlock the residential development; and Brent Cross London – a joint venture between Hammerson and Aberdeen Standard Investments to expand the existing shopping centre, critical infrastructure and additional housing.
The Brent Cross Cricklewood 2010 outline planning consent set out that work to expand the Brent Cross Shopping Centre start first, enabling Barnet Council to commercially borrow to fund delivery of the new station through ringfenced business rates.
Hammerson announced it was deferring its scheme in July 2018 due to current market conditions in the retail market. Although remaining committed to the scheme, this left a significant funding gap. Barnet Council has worked with partners and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to secure the grant investment announced today through the Housing Infrastructure Fund. This is in addition to the £97m grant awarded in the 2016 budget bringing total government investment £416.5m.
The HIF money funds the station, allowing the Brent Cross South scheme to proceed without waiting for the Shopping Centre.
The funding is in the form of a partially repayable grant. The current ring-fence, which sets aside the growth in business rates from the expansion of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, will remain in place and will be used to repay the grant. The Government will also receive 50% of Barnet Council’s profits from the Brent Cross South scheme. The council will benefit from the business rates generated from Brent Cross South, which will have a positive revenue impact on the council in the future.
The £4.5bn Brent Cross Cricklewood is Barnet Council’s most ambitious regeneration programme, identified in the London Plan as a key opportunity area with the potential to become a new economic centre for the capital, capable of supporting regional housing, shopping, employment, living and leisure.