A wave of change is running through White City as it is transformed into what Hammersmith & Fulham Council describes as “one of the most popular places to live and do business in Europe”.
The Council is also pledging to make sure everyone benefits from the new jobs and investment.
The multi-billion-pound transformation includes thousands of new jobs at Westfield London, more than 500 new affordable homes, a booming media centre, a thriving tech hub, ultra-fast broadband infrastructure and a new education hub.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council aims to deliver significant growth opportunities in White City for existing residents and new businesses, private and social housing, jobs and infrastructure as outlined in its Industrial Strategy.
“We want to bring White City into the 21st century,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for the Economy and the Arts. “We’re ensuring that all residents and local businesses benefit from the economic growth and new developments in H&F.”
The Council have worked with Westfield to provide more than 12,000 jobs since the shopping centre first opened in 2008. The £600million Westfield London extension (pictured right), which partially opened in March 2018, will provide 8,000 new permanent jobs in White City with residents getting first choice on the positions. It signaled the start of a phased opening of the vast project ahead of Westfield’s 10th anniversary on 30 October 2018. All in all it will create an extra 740,000 sq ft of retail, dining, leisure and entertainment space – making it the largest shopping centre in Europe.
Westfield’s phase two has also provided a £3.9million improvement to Shepherds Bush Overground station and £600,000 to maximise job opportunities through training and apprenticeships.
Meanwhile, the first phase of the revamp of the 31 disused railway arches at Wood Lane tube station will open this summer providing new commercial, leisure and retail space.
North of the arches is an emerging tech hotspot, home to Imperial College London’s new research and innovation district (pictured left), the latest Royal College of Art campus, Yoox Net-A-Porter’s Tech Hub and the co-working space Huckletree West.
Then there is the new education hub – EdCity (pictured top) – situated between Australia Road, Dorando Close and South Africa Road, which will include a new two-form entry Ark Swift Primary Academy, a new building for Harmony Nursery (increasing capacity from 45 to 75 children), a new adult learning centre run by H&F Council and a new Youth Zone. The council has provided all the land needed, as well as future funding for the development.
Seventy-one affordable homes for residents have been secured on the new Ed City development in Australia Road with 38 for key workers and 33 for social rent. An additional 118 affordable units were approved on the St James scheme on the former M&S Warehouse site (pictured right). This is in addition to the 298 homes previously ear-marked on the White City scheme. Meanwhile, the council has begun to redevelop a former hostel it owns in Lavender Court with 45 new affordable homes for residents.
In the new Television Centre, ITV’s daytime shows have recently moved to the state-of-the-art studios in Wood Lane. Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women are now being produced in studio 2 and 3 of the BBC Studioworks’ facilities for the next five years.
David Conway, Managing Director of BBC Studioworks said: “Our studios and post production facilities form part of a vibrant and creative media quarter within Hammersmith & Fulham.”
The disused petrol station in Wood Lane will become a brand-new art project space – Elephant West – which is set to open this autumn and which will showcase contemporary up-and-coming artists.
In partnership with Community Fibre, H&F Council has made White City Estate one of the largest in London to have ultra-fast fibre optic broadband on offer in the 2,000 homes on the estate. The Edward Woods estate is next in line to have ultra-fast broadband in White City.