A new art centre in the heart of Ladbroke Grove is being planned as part of £10 million investment in the Portobello area.
The proposals, unveiled on Monday (November 14) by Westway Trust , will see film screenings, live music and theatre staged at the 1,000 capacity arts hub on Acklam Road, which will also play an important role in the preparations for Notting Hill Carnival.
A new indoor market hall, new shops for independent retailers and studio spaces for small businesses and community groups form part of the scheme to breathe new life into the area under the Westway flyover where it meets Portobello Road.
Westway Trust, the charity which owns and manages the land, has pledged to give preference to local independent traders above chain stores.
The plans go on display later this month, with members of the public encouraged to give feedback, and is likely to be followed by a planning application at the end of the year.
They also see the retention of the famous market canopy, which had been earmarked for demolition under earlier Westway Trust plans. However, the charity agreed to go back to the drawing board following negative feedback from public consultations.
In a boost to the economy, the new facilities will create 150 new jobs as well as apprenticeships, and increase market trading hours.
Redevelopment will focus on the neighbourhood linking Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park, with the aim of drawing people further north up Portobello Road.
More than 1,000 people, including residents, community groups and business responded to the 18-month consultation. Architecture practice Stiff + Trevillion, based in Westbourne Grove and with experience of similar projects in North Kensington, worked with Westway Trust to produce the plans.
Details of the scheme include:
- Art and culture centre, which will be sound-proofed and have a year-round, all-day programme of events including film screenings, live music, theatre, arts workshops and exhibitions. It could include “backstage” space for preparations for Notting Hill Carnival , and will see new amenities such as toilets in Acklam Road
- Redesign of the “gloomy” shopping arcade on Thorpe Close to create a spacious, light and modern indoor market hall with studio and office units above. The new design will give retailers more prominence at street level and boost trade
- Portobello Green will be improved with a new stage and grassed performance area and children’s play area. Walls and railings will be removed to make the park more permeable, encouraging visitors to spend longer in the neighbourhood
- The preservation of the distinctive white canopy thanks to local demand
- An elevated Portobello Green heritage sign visible to drivers on the Westway flyover
- Thirteen affordable one to three-bedroom flats on the Acklam car park to meet local housing demand. Independent retailers will occupy the ground level and a green courtyard will be created for new residents and those at adjacent Norfolk Mews. Proceeds from housing will help the Trust meet the overall scheme’s costs, which will also be funded by cash and borrowings
The Trust’s chief executive welcomed the proposals. She said: “Portobello has a unique appeal as local people and the millions of visitors every year appreciate. It is this character and distinctiveness that we want to preserve and celebrate in our new proposals.
“We have listened to local people and their views are reflected in our plans to provide improved spaces to enhance the area’s cultural life and benefit the community as well as providing much needed affordable housing.”
Brendan O’Keefe, managing director of local youth service organisation Epic CIC , said: “In this scheme I see a variety of different opportunities for young people to get their careers going and I hope we can get involved in supporting that work.”
Resident groups were also pleased, while Micky P, from local arts festival Portobello Live!, said: “Portobello Live! is happy to be working with the Westway Trust, and having seen their plans for the redevelopment of Westway Estate around Portobello Road, it’s clear they have listened to the community and will enhance the heritage of our much loved area.
"The future looks very exciting and will undoubtedly encourage a lot more people to visit!”
The public exhibition runs from November 15-18 and November 20 under the Westway at 1 Thorpe Close.
More information can be found on the Westway Trust's website .
Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.
You can even set it to receive push notifications for all the breaking news in your area.