£100 million revamp of Westminster

Westminster wants Brighton-style Lanes and Thai market
Alfies Antiques Market
Starting point: Alfies Antiques Market
A £100 million master plan to breathe new life into one of central London’s most run-down districts has been launched by Westminster council.

'Westminster council has hired consultants to regenerate the area over the next 15 years'

The streets around Paddington Green and Church Street Market are within walking distance of Marylebone, Hyde Park, and Soho, but the area, divided by Edgware Road, has been blighted for generations.

Now Westminster has hired a team of consultants - Urban Initiatives, which is also drawing up plans to regenerate Stratford for 2012 - to reinvent the area over the next 15 years.

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Early ideas include a Thai-style floating market on the Regent’s Canal, with a new pier built for river buses and pleasure boats. Church Street already has one of London’s best antiques markets, Alfies, and the plan involves encouraging independent traders to create a warren of shops similar to The Lanes in Brighton.

The dank space beneath the Westway could be brightened up with lighting and public art, plus workshops and affordable office space to help generate jobs. Local housing will also be upgraded but Rosemary Westbrook, Westminster’s director of housing, said that the council wanted to take a more holistic approach to regeneration.

“These are ambitious and exciting ideas that could transform Church Street for generations to come,” she said. “This project covers everything from providing more job opportunities for local people to improving facilities in the area.”

Investment will be funnelled into improving shop fronts along Edgware Road and Lisson Grove, building cycle paths linking the area to Regent’s Park and Paddington Basin, and upgrading local parks and open spaces.

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