A series of railway arches next to Wood Lane tube station are to be converted into shops, galleries and community spaces in a scheme backed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
The 31 arches are just a stone’s throw away from Westfield London in White City. Nineteen of them could come into use as soon as 2018, coinciding with the launch of the new John Lewis store in Westfield 2, the extension which is currently under construction.
“It is important to ensure that there are opportunities for independent retailers, businesses and start-ups – as well as the major stores and big names in Westfield,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration.
“Renovating and renting out the railway arches gives smaller companies a chance to benefit from the huge increase in footfall generated in Shepherds Bush in recent year.”
Wheels of change
Of the 19 arches in the planned first phase, 13 will be used for retailing, whilst the other six will provide new pedestrian routes, bicycle parking and storage facilities.
The planned phase two, will tie in with the completion of 2,500 new flats in four or five years’ time. Seven will be workshops or retail units, with a further five opened up for pedestrian access, bicycle parking and storage.
At present the designated arches beneath the Circle and Hammersmith & City tube lines – created in the 1860s – are inaccessible to the public, and are filled with rubble, rubbish and debris.
New artisan shops and increased community space are just some of the potential benefits of the scheme. While the new cycle parking areas will encourage more residents to cycle locally and complement our amibitons to make Hammersmith & Fulham the greenest borough in the country.
The newly restored arches could provide up to an additional 1,000sqft of commercial space. Those designated for retail use are expected to be offered on three-year contracts to small retailing chains and independents, although shorter rental terms could be available to local start-ups.