Transforming Brent Cross: 2023 Wrap-Up
December 20, 2023
This year has been transformative for the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme, and the teams working hard across the development.
Read on to find out what we have got up to and achieved in 2023.
We kicked off the year by unveiling a huge 21-metre-high and 52-metre-long permanent public artwork called Here we come, here we rise, at Brent Cross Town. The colourful artwork was created by London-based artist, Lakwena in collaboration with architects, IF_DO, and wraps around a new sustainable electrical substation which, in future, will power the new neighbourhood. The artwork reflects the ambition for Brent Cross Town to bring people together in the local community and is located next to London’s A406 North Circular.
In June, Brent Cross Town announced the opening of Europe’s first indoor destination for baseball and softball, ‘The 108’. The indoor centre brings a fun sports experience to the community and visitors, with four batting cages, as well as a full baseball infield. The centre had a soft launch opening early December and will have an official opening early next year. Details about the location and bookings can be found at the108.co.uk
In September, Brent Cross Town celebrated the completion of the structural frame, known as ‘topping out’, of its first two buildings. One of the buildings will consist of 120 affordable homes that will provide new homes for existing secure tenants and leaseholders in the Whitefield Estate.
London’s newest mainline station, Brent Cross West, was officially opened by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan on Sunday 10 December 2023. The opening day was celebrated by nearly 5000 members of the community, and rail users, who visited the station that day. The new Thameslink station sits between Cricklewood and Hendon stations on the Midland Main Line and is the gateway to new neighbourhood Brent Cross Town.
The major milestone was led by Barnet Council, one of the first local authorities in England to deliver a rail infrastructure project. As well as connecting central London to Brent Cross in as little as 12 minutes, the station includes a public overbridge, which provides the first pedestrian access across this stretch of the Midland Main Line since it was first built in the 19th century. Find out more about the new station here.
New building plans for the area
Over the year, there have been a number of announcements for future buildings which will be located in the Brent Cross Cricklewood area, which really shows how momentum is building across the development. Some include a new sustainable office building in Brent Cross Town, a small park and public space at Cricklewood Town Centre and Brent Cross Town’s first retirement village.
Making our roads safer
In March, an Experimental Controlled Parking Zone (previously referred to as an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order) was introduced to some roads in the local area, click to see where. This measure was taken by Barnet Council to address resident feedback on parking issues, create safer roads and prioritise parking for local residents, businesses and their visitors and customers. The consultation deadline to give your feedback on the changes closes 25 April 2024.
The Barnet Council highway team has also taken up other road improvement works to better improve safety for road users, including opening a new pedestrian footpath to make it easier for residents to get to the station, planters installed on Purbeck Drive to address anti-social behaviour, and installing double yellow lines on Claremont Road to prevent unsafe parking.
Community is at the heart of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme
This year, we took part in many events and initiatives in the area that all had one goal, which is to support the local community.
Some community-focused events included Brent Cross Town’s successful spring, summer and Autumn programmes which all consisted of free activities facilitated by local organisations. They were all well-attended, with thousands of locals and visitors having participated collectively. We also saw the first ever Eid in the Park celebration, Chanukah, and a Winter Lights celebration.
For the second time running, we encouraged the #TimeTogether campaign, which was hosted by Brent Cross Town, offering free fun sporting activities for women. Another partnership we also supported was Barnet Nightingales Football Club and Brent Cross Town, who together provided free training for young women and girls in Barnet and wider. Brent Cross Town also partnered with Age UK Barnet to host a fun ukulele workshop for over-55s as part of Silver Week.
We also celebrated the five-year anniversary of the Brent Cross Town Community Fund and offered the ‘people projects’ vote – the first year a vote is left for the public to pick their favourite community project.
Staff from across Barnet Council and regeneration programme partners took up a number of volunteering opportunities to take care of the local area, including litter picking, bulb planting and more.
Artwork in and around the local area
This year especially, we saw a new burst of artwork fill the area with colour and character. Some artwork in the area was created with the help of the local community, including the Whitefield School fence, Claremont Primary School mural (led by Julia Elmore), and ‘Towards Barnet & Towards Brent’ (led by Elisa Cantarelli) in Brent Cross West.
Other artwork also unveiled in and around the local area include Steven Wilson’s artwork in Claremont Park called ‘Yesterday, Tomorrow’, as well as Giles Round’s colourful frieze panels in Brent Cross West, called ‘Time passes & still I think of you’.
Supporting The London Festival of Architecture
This year, Barnet was the destination for the month-long celebration of architecture, London Festival of Architecture (LFA). We were excited to support the free events that took place at Brent Cross Town, touring Claremont Park and the electrical substation, as part of the celebration.
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