Westfield proving regen catalyst

Westfield London - proposed aerial view 2013As Westfield prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary, the council says the shopping centre is acting as a real catalyst for regeneration in Shepherds Bush and White City.

The £1.6 billion shopping centre opened in October 2008 and has provided a huge shot in the arm for the local economy, according to the local council.

Westfield London welcomes more than 80,000 customers – the equivalent of an FA Cup Final – every day. The centre has created thousands of new jobs and contributed to significant improvements to the local infrastructure.

This has provided the springboard for a series of other new developments set to happen over the coming years that will, hope the council, secure the area’s status as one of the most up-and-coming parts of London.

The centre has contributed directly to local improvement, producing a new library that has seen a three-fold increase in the number of users, a £2.6million revamp of Shepherds Bush Green, and funding for extra police officers for the area.

Transport links have also been revitalised with Shepherds Bush Overground station opening in 2008 and a brand new Hammersmith & City line station – called Wood Lane – opened at the junction of Wood Lane and Ariel Way. The new station was the first to be built on an existing Underground line for more than 70 years.

Now Shepherds Bush is set to enjoy a new wave of investment. Westfield has permission to build 1,522 homes and an extension above Marks and Spencer as part of a £1billion scheme that will see the existing shopping centre extended with new restaurants, cafes, a leisure complex and links to a new public green.

Elsewhere, Shepherds Bush Market is set to be regenerated with a scheme that the council believes will inject more than £3million a year into the local economy. The popular Bush Theatre has also been relocated to the former library building, on Uxbridge Road.

Imperial College London has permission for seven new buildings ranging from five to 35 storeys tall, on the former BBC Woodlands site in White City, aiming to create 3,150 jobs.

Shepherds Bush town centre is set for a £3.5million transport boost covering the area from the eastern ends of Goldhawk Road and Uxbridge Road to Coverdale Road and Devonport Road.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader said: “Since Westfield opened W12 has been on the up and now there are a series of new and exciting projects that means the area is thriving like never before.”

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