GW | Contents
Great West Investment destination:
ENVIRONMENTAL EVOLUTION: PARKS AND RECREATION
HOUNSLOW Investment destination:
CULTURAL SNAPSHOT: FILM AND ART IN FOCUS
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GW | Contents
Cover image: Syon Park by Simon Hadleigh-Sparks Images: Ricoeurian, Rough Cut TV, tp bennett, Allen Watkin (CC BY 2.0), Brentford FC, D+B Facades, Hounslow Council, Cristian Bortes (CC BY 2.0), TfL, Maxwell Hamilton (CC BY 2.0), Ethan Doyle White (CC BY 2.0), Reel Film, Vipul Sangoi, Urban Initiatives Studio, Allies and Morrison Architects, Huw Evans, Hounslow Awards, Tom Horna Photography, Juliet Sheath, Nick Webb (CC BY 2.0), Justin W Thomas, © Crown Printed by: The Manson Group Published by:
Regeneration and development updates.
Sunley House, Bedford Park, Croydon CR0 2AP T: 020 7978 6840
15 Parks and ecology Green credentials are boosted by numerous Green Flag parks and environmental initiatives.
For the London Borough of Hounslow Civic Centre Lampton Road Hounslow TW3 4DN
23 Arts facilities
Subscriptions and feedback: greatwestmagazine.com
Facilities abound for local artists and the local authority is supporting their growth.
27 Hounslow on film
Production companies find Hounslow has a lot to offer as a shooting location.
30 Map and projects
41 Business winners
Where are the key sites located and what progress is being made? Victors from the Hounslow Business Awards discuss their success.
New stadiums for the borough's sports teams and funding for leisure centres.
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Improved transport infrastructure could have a significant impact on Hounslow, The major facts and figures indicate sustained growth. A site owned by the Ministry of Defence is primed for development.
HIGH STREET QUARTER LAUNCHED
A £210 million mixed-use housing scheme in the centre of Hounslow was launched by housebuilder Barratt Homes at the beginning of 2018. The 2.48-ha former brownfield site, known as High Street Quarter is situated within Hounslow’s town centre, in close proximity to Hounslow Central and Hounslow East stations and is centred around a 27-storey residential tower and a public square.
The quarter forms part of the wider regeneration scheme of Hounslow town centre. Barratt is delivering 528 homes and more than 9,830sq m of commercial floor space, including a new multiplex cinema, restaurants, cafes and shops. Of the homes, 41% have been earmarked as ‘affordable’, comprising 61 properties for rent and 155 units which will be available for shared ownership.
Karly Williams, regional sales director at Barratt London, said: “High Street Quarter will help breathe new life into Hounslow town centre, supporting this vibrant and diverse community. “We will continue to work closely with the many stakeholders who have given so much time and energy to help create the vision for this project and we look forward to delivering one of the most exciting masterplans in London.”
GW | News
LAUNCH AT AWARDWINNING DEVELOPMENT The second phase of home sales at an awardwinning residential scheme on Brentford’s waterfront launched in January 2018. Keelson Gardens, which features one, two and three-bedroom apartments, duplex apartments, penthouses and townhouses, forms part of the Brentford Lock West development which won a RIBA National and two RIBA London Awards for its design. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and open plan kitchen and living areas in most homes, Keelson Gardens also includes landscaped communal spaces, terraces and balconies, which were viewed at an invitationonly launch event on 27 January 2018. Designed by regeneration specialist Waterside Places, the development is a joint partnership between MUSE Developments and the Canal & River Trust, which supports waterside regeneration across the UK; 50% of its profits are invested back into Britain’s waterways to conserve and maintain them for future generations. Situated close to The Grand Union Canal, Brentford Lock West benefits from an active water sports scene including paddle boarding sessions and a nearby kayak and canoe club. Chalico Walk, which formed phase one of the project, saw strong sales, with 80% of its 42 one, two and three-bedroom apartment units now bought.
HEATHROW LOCAL CONSULTATION TAKES OFF Heathrow airport has invited local communities to share their views on its expansion plans in a 10-week public consultation on possible expansion and future operations. Residents and stakeholders are expected to comment on the airport’s infrastructure design plans for expansion, ideas for managing and reducing environmental and community impacts, and future design proposals for the airspace around Heathrow airport. According to research conducted on behalf of Heathrow airport ahead of its submission to the Davies Commission in 2012, 10,750 Hounslow residents work at Heathrow, with 9,500 further jobs in related industries also located within the borough. Back Heathrow, a local community action group comprising 100,000 members spanning local residents, business owners and investors, supports expansion at the airport to provide and safeguard local jobs and the economy in nearby areas. Parmjit Dhanda, Back Heathrow’s executive director, said: "This 10-week
local consultation heralds another significant milestone for the planned expansion project. “Back Heathrow and its 100,000 local supporters want to see the creation of new jobs and prosperity for the area. “But we also want to see local people shaping the details of expansion, to get the best out of it for our community this consultation will help to do that." Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, urged local residents to take part in the consultation: “Expanding Heathrow is pivotal to Britain’s future prosperity and it’s a chance to make the airport a better neighbour for our local communities. “By working together throughout the consultation, the public can help shape our plans and, jointly, we can ensure that expansion delivers for our passengers, businesses across Britain and importantly for our local communities.” The consultation started on 17 January and is due to end on 28 March, with feedback from participants shaping detailed proposals ahead of a second consultation in 2019.
BACK IN CONTROL Hounslow Council is set to reclaim control of the borough’s parks from now-defunct environment contractor Carillion in March 2018. At a cabinet meeting in November, the council decided the parks’ maintenance contract will be implemented by its wholly owned company, Lampton 360. Councillor Samia Chaudhary, cabinet member for green policy and leisure, said: “We believe that by bringing this service back in-house, we can integrate it with wider leisure and cultural services and improve what is a service valued by residents and save money.”
BEES BUZZ FOR STADIUM MOVE Work is expected to start imminently on a new stadium at Lionel Park for London Irish rugby team and Championship football side Brentford – known locally as the Bees – after the council approved amendments to the original plan. Updated proposals for Brentford Community Stadium, which will see changes to the stadium design and two connecting residential sites, were submitted in September 2017 by Lionel Road Developments and Kew Bridge Gate Developments on behalf of Brentford FC and development partner Be Living. The complex will be next to Kew Bridge underground station, less than a mile from the club’s current ground, Griffin Park. Cliff Crown, chairman of Brentford FC, said: "I know some fans may be concerned that the capacity of the stadium will be reduced but it is critical that this project is as financially robust and deliverable as possible. "I am delighted that we are continuing to prepare for life in the Premier League [Brentford are pushing for the Championship playoffs this season] with enhanced media and lighting facilities to make the stadium fully compliant from day one.” Matthew Townend, managing director at Be Living, added: “These proposed amendments will improve the fans’ experience as they approach and leave the stadium."
Hounslow Council has launched a three-month deep cleaning programme for 400 of the borough’s roads. For the first stage of the wider borough initiative, streets were identified which were in need of ‘deep cleansing’, which includes graffiti removal, gulley cleaning and the removal of overgrown vegetation. The roads were chosen because of difficult access by cleaning teams due to parked cars, and car users will be advised through notices when the works will be carried out on their street. With multiple streets scheduled to be cleaned each day, cleaning is staggered throughout the day and not targeted during the morning rush hour for busier routes.
The project will move from central Hounslow to the east of the borough throughout 2018. Councillor Amrit Mann, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment at Hounslow Council, said: “We’re pleased to be working with our contractors Hounslow Highways to ensure the borough’s roads are clean and, most of all, safe. “This first stage will involve around 400 roads, so clearly this is a major programme of work being undertaken. “The council currently invests £2.7 million on average each year in maintaining roads and pavements and this initiative is just one of the ways we work with Hounslow Highways to deliver essential improvements.”
CHISWICK GATE TO OPEN Around 80% of apartments and townhouses at luxury housing development Chiswick Gate are ready to move into, according to developer Berkeley Homes West London. Situated on the site of the former IMG offices at Chiswick High Road, the development includes 78 apartments and 44 "Georgian-inspired" townhouses priced from £618,000 to £2,595,000. It also features a town square, tree-lined boulevard and concierge service for all residents. Customers purchased homes in late 2017 to move into the homes in the new year. James Cohen, residential development associate at Knight Frank, said: “Chiswick Gate has proven popular with buyers thanks to its blend of beautiful Georgian-inspired architecture, high quality specification and excellent amenities. “With a charming private garden square and green, car-free boulevards, the scheme’s unique features have been a real selling point.”
GW | News
URGENT SAFETY REVIEW Work to replace flammable cladding and install fire doors at a 12-storey tower block in Hounslow was completed in November 2017, following recommendations made in the wake of the Grenfell tower fire tragedy in North Kensington last summer that claimed 71 lives. A report commissioned by what was then the Department of Communities and Local Government, informed Hounslow Council after the 14 June fire that aluminium composite material cladding used on Clements Court in Cranford was in breach of the Building Research Establishment combustion test. The tower block was completely re-clad with solid aluminium panels, with upgraded doors, firebreaks and fresh mineral wood
insulation installed within 18 weeks of the tragedy. An event attended by residents and politicians to mark the completion of the work, was held at Clements Court in November by contractor d+b facades, with council leader Steve Curran fitting the last panel. Curran said: “The council is committed to tackling fire safety. The significant improvements at Clements Court were made possible so promptly, due to the cooperation of residents and hard work of council staff and contractors. Together we have achieved a great deal in a short time.” Fiona Twycross, chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said she "welcomed the programme of works undertaken by Hounslow Council".
CORRIDOR OF CHANGE A three-month consultation on Hounslow’s 15-year regeneration plan concluded on 10 December 2017. Hosted by Hounslow Council, local residents submitted their views on the 2015 Local Plan Review, which outlined planned development across the west Hounslow area, including homes, public spaces, transport improvements and job creation. This is the second stage of consultation for the Local Plan review, particularly focused on the west of borough and Great West Corridor areas. A two-fold plan, the review comprises housing and business development proposals across the Great West Corridor (including Chiswick, Osterley and Brentford), and better transport links for the Heathrow Opportunity Area, as part of the mayor of London’s latest Draft London Plan. Plans for improved transport includes Southern Rail access into Heathrow Airport as well as passenger services to Southall Crossrail and Old Oak Common railway station. The next version of the Local Plan review is due for consultation in summer 2018.
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GW | Parks and ecology
CLEANER AND GREENER With its close proximity to Heathrow airport, Hounslow is rising to the challenges it faces with noise and air pollution, while the borough’s high-quality parks and thriving eco-system provide an environmental contrast to Europe’s busiest transport hub. Through a series of initiatives, the borough is determined to become greener in a bid to enhance the lives of its residents and workers. Noella Pio Kivlehan reports
n the skies above Hounslow, almost 500,000 planes a year come low and loud on their descent and take-off from Heathrow airport. As a result, air pollution around the 2.2 milewide transport hub – one of the world’s largest airports – is higher than the national norm. On land however, Hounslow paints a different picture: the borough is green in abundance. The Greenspace Information for Greater London data organisation suggests 39.6% of Hounslow is green space, putting it at number eight on its list of the capital’s greenest boroughs.
This rating is backed by Hounslow currently being the holder of 14 Green Flag status parks and open spaces – the national standard for high quality – while Chiswick House and Gardens was declared a 2017 London in Bloom winner. The juxtaposition between the status in air and land quality is not lost on the council’s leader, Councillor Steve Curran. With the close proximity of Heathrow airport, Hounslow clearly faces considerable challenges in giving the best quality of life to those who live and work in the borough.
Pictured: Chiswick House and Gardens features an 18th century villa and 26.3ha of gardens.
“Residents are naturally concerned about pollution due to associated impacts on their health," says Curran. "However, they are not fearful. Instead, some local groups have engaged with the council in meaningful ways and displayed great enthusiasm to volunteer their services – for instance, by planting more trees, as well as other measures." With its myriad of award-winning green spaces, Curran proudly states that the parks and open spaces “are a great asset for the community". "From recent research, it is clear how they contribute to the health and wellbeing of users," he adds. "The council recognises the value of green spaces and their role in improving users’ health and wellbeing.” For this reason, the council is determined to demonstrate the ‘greenness’ of the borough, its ecology, and overall environmental ambitions. Getting the 'green message' out, says Curran, is very important. “A lot of our strategies, such as those which revolve around increasing recycling and moving people towards sustainable travel modes rely on behavioural change from the public. “While we can be a small voice among these huge global issues, we are generally trusted by our communities which can help us cut through the noise. After all, societal change starts with individual action.” Curran says Hounslow has been working tirelessly to promote its environmental agenda to the public, engaging businesses through its recent consultation on its Air Quality Action Plan and rapidly developing its Climate Change Strategy. “Both these streams of work are designed to bring
FROM GOLDEN TO GREEN
Below: Osterley Park is one of 15 parks in Hounslow to be granted the Green Flag national standard,
Stretching from the A4 and M4 through Osterley, Brentford to Chiswick en route to Heathrow Airport, the Great West corridor is home to more than 200 companies employing 25,000 people. Nicknamed the Golden Mile, with businesses made-up of multinational company headquarters and SMEs from many industries, this stretch of land is now set to transform from golden to green. Through its Great West Corridor Plan, Hounslow Council is set to maintain and enhance the commercial hub, while overhauling its environmental quality. Curran says: “Our strategy, as part of a radical transformation of the area's environmental quality, is to provide an attractive front door to development, to mitigate the impact of noise and air pollution on residents, businesses and visitors and to establish well-connected links to open spaces and natural assets." On employment in the Golden Mile, Curran adds: “The council is committed to maintaining and enhancing this commercial hub by working with businesses and stakeholders to shape our Great West Corridor Plan. "This will enable the successful delivery of places that will support housing delivery, job creation and the provision of new infrastructures to serve the local community."
Some of the major objectives and milestones the council has already achieved with its green initiatives include bringing the ‘clean bus corridor’ to Chiswick High Road, the delivery of a large number of EV charging points (ecotricity), and ongoing development of the Cycle Superhighway (CS9) and Hounslow Road Cycle path. Curran says: “Residents are extremely positive about events and other activity that promote green initiatives. For example, over 29,300 residents voluntarily participated in the Beat the Street initiative, which clearly indicates the level of interest and success.”
GW | Parks and ecology
COUNCIL’S GREEN INITIATIVES
Beat the Street Last autumn Hounslow Council urged its residents to ‘beat the street’ and take to the borough’s walkways on foot or bike. First launched in 2016, the council-funded project ran for seven weeks from September to November and involved schools, businesses, community groups and residents. Billed by the council as a 'fun, free game for the communities of Hounslow,' the scheme encouraged residents to see how far they could walk, cycle and run around their area and beyond. With the offer of prizes, local residents and schools were able to pick up a SMART card that logged miles. These are tied-in with more than 180 special sensors called ‘Beat Boxes’ placed across Hounslow, outside local landmarks, in parks and along popular walking and cycle routes: the cards were swiped on the boxes, which allowed the recipients to accumulate points and win prizes. It is estimated that nearly 30,000 people took part, clocking up 160,387 miles. Electric car charging points Working with private operator, Source London, the council is set on encouraging residents to switch to cleaner, greener electric and hybrid vehicles by providing more charging points, which will also be easily accessible. Today, the borough has between 35 to 40 points in prime locations, namely at transport hubs. However, for those with no off-street parking – the majority of electric and hybrid car owners charge their vehicles in their drives overnight – the council has started a TfL-funded trial that will allow residents to directly charge cars from nearby kerb-side lamp posts.
KEY OPEN SPACES The borough of Hounslow has 14 Green Flag parks and National Trust properties that make up its green spaces and attractions. Key among them are: Dukes Meadows Following public exhibition in November 2016, the public consultation for the multimillion-pound masterplan to regenerate and upgrade facilities at Hounslow's Dukes Meadows ended in November 2017. Featured in the proposal is a new bandstand area, as well as improved pedestrian and cycling facilities and a significant upgrade of the current sporting facilities on offer. Main areas earmarked for improvement include the entire length of the Thames Path throughout the site, Chiswick Bridge and riverside, while sporting facilities include a refurbished hockey pitch, redeveloped Chiswick boathouse, new football pavilion and two 3G artificial grass pitches for football.
Gunnersbury Park The park, owned jointly by Hounslow and Ealing councils, is currently at the start of a 15-year, £21 million upgrade as part of
the ‘Gunnersbury 2026’ masterplan. Using two grants awarded in 2014 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the museum with be overhauled, while there will be major improvements to the park overall: in the next two years it is set to get new sports, leisure and heritage facilities. In September, Hounslow and Ealing councils announced that more events would be held in the park to increase the number of users and visitors. Boston Manor Created in 1924 from part of the estate of a 17th Century stately home, Boston Manor features a Jacobian manor house built in 1623. It contains important biodiversity assets and is situated next to the Grand Union Canal and a remaining fragment of the Brent River. Hounslow Council is currently working with the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop new plans for the restoration of the house and surrounding parklands. Osterley Park The West London Georgian estate is a National Trust property that despite having the M4 motorway cut through it, is
one of the borough’s favoured attractions. An original house was built in the 1570s, with the current building replacing it in the late 1700s. Bedfont Lakes At a sprawling 72.5 hectares, Bedfont Lakes County Park is a significant local nature reserve and site of metropolitan importance for nature conservation for the borough. It has over 350 species of plants, 156 types of birds, 124 moths, 97 of fungi and 20 mammals. Hounslow's 14 Green Flags Beaversfield Park Bedfont Lakes Boston Manor Park Chiswick Back Common Church Road Allotment Crane Valley Park Duke's Meadow Feltham Green Gunnersbury Triangle Inwood Park Jersey Gardens Lampton Park St John’s Gardens Turnham Green
Hounslow's green credentials are established, but how do they compare with the rest of the capital? How green is London? Roughly 47% of Greater London is green. Thirtythree per cent of London is vegetated green space, according to surveyed habitat information, excluding an extra 14%, which is estimated to be vegetated private or domestic garden green space.
GW | Parks and ecology
LONDON’S GREEN FIGURES
How much of London is water? Two-and-a-half per cent of Greater London is rivers, canals and reservoirs. How much of London is garden land? It has been calculated that 24% of Greater London is private, domestic garden land. Fourteen per cent of this is estimated to be vegetated green space. How much woodland and orchard is there? More than 22,500ha of woodland and orchard habitat were recorded in the last survey for London (carried out between 1983-2009). How much of London is open? Roughly 60% of Greater London is open (i.e. undeveloped) land. Thirty-nine per cent of this is land that has an amenity value or potential amenity value. The rest of the open land is domestic gardens. What is London’s open space used for? London’s open spaces are multifunctional, both in terms of their ecosystem services and amenity value for London’s residents. Thirty nine per cent of Greater London can be classified as open space.
Source: Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC, 2015 about greater awareness and instil behaviour change that will consequently lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and emissions from road transport,” says Curran. The council is also preparing to conduct its Green Belt review, which will be adopted as part of the 2019 Local Plan Review. But a lot of work is already ongoing. With the help of grants from the likes of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the council is also ploughing millions of pounds into providing funding for projects, such as the £21 million 15-year scheme to renovate Gunnersbury Park and its museum, and a masterplan for Duke's Meadow (see panel opposite).
Pictured: Bedfont Lakes (top) and Boston Manor (above) add to a reputation for highquality open spaces.
Income from development is earmarked for the improvement of parks and open spaces and, in recognition of this, substantial investment has also been secured from public health. He adds: “A comprehensive tree planting programme has been designed and implemented in conjunction with Trees for Cities, to maximise the value of trees and green spaces in offsetting pollution and carbon emissions.” With a third runway potentially being added to Heathrow Airport by 2025, subject to a parliament vote in summer this year, Hounslow going green will be more important than ever for the future health of its residents and workers.
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GW | Arts facilities
BORN TO PERFORM
The last five years have seen a focus on creating, nurturing and growing arts space in Hounslow to boost the borough’s cultural prowess and engage the community in new ways. Lucy Clarke reports
s Hounslow bids to become the first London Borough of Culture – a new initiative introduced by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – local arts organisations are busy making plans. Launched in 2014, the Bell Square Arts Space is a permanent facility for outdoor performances which aims to appeal to all sections of the community. Director of Watermans Arts Centre Jan Lennox, tells Great West the idea for the outdoor hub first came about in 2008 when the local authority commissioned a report into how it could support the development of Hounslow town centre.
“The financial crash had just happened and the report made a number of suggestions about how the town centre could attract more footfall and feel more distinctive, so it was more likely to attract investors when the economy improved,” Lennox says. “One of these suggestions was to develop a programme of cultural events in the town centre.” At the same time, London was beginning to plan for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was becoming clear an outdoor arts centre would form a major part of the culture programme accompanying the momentous event. “Watermans and the council discussed how these
Pictured: dance company Bilbobasso perform fiery tango in Hounslow's Bell Square.
ideas could be brought together and agreed to trial some events on Hounslow High Street,” Lennox says. “The very first event was a performance called Initium by Akademi, a well-established south Asian dance company. About 1,500 people watched it and the feedback was great. “Over the next couple of years, we gradually increased the number of events until in the summer of 2012, Hounslow was one of the leading boroughs in London for its outdoor arts programme. “We welcomed fabulous drummers from Beijing, musicians, poets, beatboxers, pop-up films and, of course, the torch relay came through the town centre and finished up with a fabulous dance event for 11,000 people. Hounslow was rocking – and it was clear this had to carry on.” In the months that followed, the idea for Bell Square was born. The space opened in 2014 and now presents a wide array of theatre, dance, music, acrobatics and fire shows throughout the year. Lennox says the proposals for Watermans Arts Centre’s relocation to the former police station site in Brentford is about continuing to create “the kind of arts and creative scene we want in this area for the future”. She adds: “The opportunity is to deliver a world-
Pictured: public art in Feltham (right); Artonik's 'The Color (sic) of Time' (below) comes to Bell Square.
Pictured: The Society Dance group perform at Best of Hounslow, part of the 2017 Feltham Festival.
class arts centre that will put Brentford on the cultural map, ignite its economy and inspire its residents, as well as the visitors we attract from around west London." “We have a vision and a commitment to continue Watermans’ ethos, which is one of inclusivity, diversity and humanity.” Planners are working towards a theatre which will double the size of the existing one, two cinemas, a larger gallery and more social space for people to meet and relax, all nearer to transport links and shops and in the natural heart of the community. “We must look to the future,” Lennox says. “We need bigger, better, modern facilities to enable us to be the kind of artistic and social hub this part of West London needs and deserves.” Meanwhile, work has started on a huge development at the Hounslow High Street Quarter site which, along with 527 homes and restaurants, will also feature a multi-screen cinema set around a new public square, due to open in early 2020. With continued support from the local authority,
GW | Arts facilities
Hounslow was one of the leading boroughs in London for its outdoor arts
which announced funding for the project in 2017 until 2019, Feltham Arts has also been working closely with Hounslow-based artists, as well as national companies, to bring art shows, theatre and other cultural events to the borough. By celebrating the area’s diversity, the organisation encourages both younger and older people, from many different backgrounds, to participate in events. Ruth Wood, programme development manager at the organisation, says the group serves both individuals and the community by engaging local people in the arts, fostering civic pride and developing the arts ecology in Hounslow. “Working collaboratively with community groups and people from all walks of life and abilities we create and host large scale events, such as community fun days and heritage projects,” Wood says. “These take the form of free-to-access festivals and social creative workshops, operating both from our own premises and local outreach facilities. “By encouraging more local people to get involved in arts activities which meet their needs, we also continue to expand our partnership work and ensure that we represent a wide range of local communities in our activities.” Aretha George, heritage and arts project manager at the Hounslow Council, says: “Next year is really going to be the time to speak to the public and put on workshops to see how we can develop things even further and be more innovative. “There is so much heritage across the whole borough and we want to be able to support the groups delivering these art programmes, as well as the audiences engaging in them. “One of the key things we want to do is look at how we monitor and understand our audiences. We need to know who isn’t participating so we can break down barriers and ensure everyone gets involved.”
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GW | Hounslow on film
Hounslow has been in the spotlight as the setting for BBC Three’s People Just Do Nothing (pictured), a 'mockumentary' about entrepreneurial locals running a pirate radio station. But with its stately homes and large parks, Karen Jensen-Jones discovers enterprising film production companies are also shifting their focus here, revealing another side of the borough
ounslow might not naturally be known as the film centre of London, but its growing reputation as a major media hub is something that cannot be disputed. Feature films, television dramas and high-profile commercials are just some of the filming that takes place on a regular basis. Liz Cater, from Reel Film and the film officer for Hounslow, explains why the borough is so popular with film-makers. “Geography and architecture are the two main reasons we attract so much filming in this area,” she says. “Because we are an outer borough, and not Kensington and Chelsea or Camden, we have more properties such as libraries, town halls and big parks alongside lots of space and places to park. “Also, our lead times are quicker because if, for example, we need to suspend parking for bigger vehicles, we can sort it out quickly and efficiently. Commercials often only have a week’s preparation
before they start filming and the location manager has to find the property, sort out the parking and have it all booked and ready for the cameras rolling a week later. “If you can sort out logistics quickly, you will definitely attract more film-makers and that’s what we aim to do. I also think the Heathrow flight path helps Hounslow by default. Anything further west than Brentford doesn’t see much filming of note because of the noise from the aeroplanes. You can film exteriors in Chiswick, Brentford and Syon Park but any further and the sound is compromised.” Renowned for its diverse and period architecture, this is another selling point for the area with properties spanning from the Georgian era to the new builds of the 1980s. Period dramas such as Downton Abbey benefit from the many beautiful stately homes on offer including Syon Park and Osterley Park. “We’re very fortunate to have so many magnificent locations in our borough,” says Emma HadleighSparks, the marketing and visitor services manager at Syon House. “We host a lot of filming here and we aim to be as accommodating and flexible as possible, as location managers will always come back if they’ve had a good experience. Located out of central London, but still close enough to travel to in one day, means filming costs are cheaper and there’s much more space for the cast and crew, as well as plenty of land to park on. We’re very well set up for film crews and that obviously makes life much easier, and more efficient and cost effective for everybody involved.”
Pictured: Filmmakers are attracted by Hounslow's leafy streets (right) and Syon Park (below).
Syon Park and House, privately owned by The Duke of Northumberland for over 400 years, is an ideal location for filming period drama. The grandeur and magnificence of the house, full of historic paintings and furniture, boasts perhaps the finest Robert Adam interior in the country. The grounds are beautiful and sprawling and only 10 miles from central London and Heathrow airport is a stone’s throw away for international visitors. Says Hadleigh-Sparks: “This gem of a location is a gift for both television and film-makers. Downton Abbey, Gosford Park, The Madness of King George, Poirot and Alice Through The Looking Glass are just some of the high-profile films and television dramas to be made at this iconic location. And not forgetting
GW | Hounslow on film
The Great British Bake Off, also a regular for filming one-off segments.” Having recently finished filming Vanity Fair for ITV and Amazon at Syon House, location manager Ben Mangham is always keen to film in Hounslow. “The borough has a very switched on council film liaison team which makes filming here straightforward and we get very well looked after. “Also, being within the M25 means actors and crew can get to Hounslow from central London in a day and that helps with the budget as there are no overnight accommodation expenses. “I think with the emergence of big TV shows such as Game of Thrones, the difference between television and feature films is very small now and in this country we are very good at making good-quality dramas. Film-makers come from Europe and America and their
Pictured: BBC dramas We'll Take Manhattan (top) and The Shadow Line (above) were shot in Hounslow.
money is invested back into the London boroughs and that gives places like Hounslow a lot of kudos, which they deserve because they’ve really embraced the cultural change.’ Liz Cater agrees that embracing the opportunity is key to making the borough a successful film hub. “The once-empty Gillette Building at Osterley has clearly benefited from the influx of film crews and is regularly used as an office base for production companies filming in the area,” she says. “The famous grade-ll listed art deco building has also doubled as a CIA base for the latest series of the hit American show 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland. “Brentford Library hosted Miranda Hart for her show Miranda (such fun!) and The Butts Conservation Area with its enclave of late 17th and early 18th Century buildings, described as one of the most appealing groups of houses in west London, provided the backdrop for ITV’s period drama Mr Selfridge. More recently in July Motherland, BBC2’s new hit comedy navigating the trials and traumas of middleclass motherhood took to the local streets, alongside BBC3’s People Just Do Nothing, a light-hearted, satirical take on Hounslow’s people and culture. The dramatisation of the Hatton Garden robbery in 2015 is another exciting drama to be added to the filming schedule and no doubt, there are several more currently under wrap and soon to be revealed. Hounslow might not seem the obvious place to find a buzzing media hub but it’s clearly at the forefront of this exciting industry. Whether filming gritty real life on the urban streets or the genteel dramas set in country houses and parks, this is the destination to watch and be watching.
A312 M4 M4
Osterley Heathrow T1,2,3
Hounslow East Hounslow West
5 Hounslow Central
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Acton Acton Town Town
Chiswick Chiswick Park Park
Boston Boston Manor Manor
Stamford Stamford Brook Brook
Turnham Turnham Green Green Gunnersbury Gunnersbury Brentford Brentford
Kew Kew Bridge Bridge
A4A4 Great Great West West RdRd
Syon Lane Syon Lane London RdRd London RICHMOND RICHMOND
7 A310 A310
Featured projects 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Bolder Academy Feltham Housing Zone Fern Grove Hounslow Town Centre Housing Zone Hounslow High Street Quarter Lindon Bennett School London Road The Bridge Train station Underground station
International distances from Heathrow (in hours) Los Angeles: 11.5
Moscow: 3.5 Hong Kong: 12
Vienna: 2 Seoul: 11 Abu Dhabi: 7
GW | Projects
BOLDER ACADEMY Bolder Academy will be a new, non-denominational, mixedgender secondary school, for which the council has resolved to grant planning permission. Construction work is expected to start in the summer of 2018, once negotiations on a section 106 planning gain agreement are complete. The school has been set up by a group of local primary and secondary school headteachers – known as Hounslow Headteachers – to meet the demand for additional school places. It will be built near Gillette Corner on a site where the Grasshoppers Rugby Club is currently based. The club is relocating to a new home with enhanced facilities. The academy’s backers are already developing links with nearby businesses.
FELTHAM HOUSING ZONE The Feltham masterplan, which provides a framework for the next 15 years, was approved by the council in September 2017. Within this regeneration project is Feltham’s housing zone, which will include development worth £1.1 billion, towards which the Greater London Authority (GLA) has committed £32.6 million. Housing zone plans are for 3,339 homes, of which 1,406 are planned as affordable, and it is predicted that 6,678 construction jobs will be created by 2026. These zones are intended to speed up residential construction through a mixture of grants and loans to local authorities and developers to help them build on sites with large capacity, but which had for a variety of reasons proven problematic. The council will use the GLA funding to take forward development of local authority-owned sites in Feltham to provide homes, and to facilitate development of other non-council sites for housing, for example by providing funding for infrastructure or site mitigation. The masterplan takes account of the borough’s proposals for parks and recreation areas and its wider plans for the western part of the borough. It provides opportunities for new mixed-use development in the centre of Feltham and public realm improvements, with a focus on Feltham Pond, and for a potential memorial to singer Freddy Mercury, who had his first London home in the area. Feltham’s most significant site identified so far will be the 14 hectares released by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) at Elmwood Avenue, Feltham, within the housing zone and adjacent to the town centre. The council’s planning team says the project will create housing and provide jobs and notes it “provides an excellent opportunity for comprehensive redevelopment and to ‘stitch’ development into the fabric of Feltham as a whole”. In the brief, the council calls for a high quality residential-led, mixed-use scheme with a combination of residential types, tenures and sizes, including at least 40% affordable housing, in the proportions of 60% social rented and 40% intermediate ownership. Proposals also include flexible commercial and office floorspace and local retail facilities designed to serve the development itself, as well as publicly accessible open space, a secondary or ‘all through’ school, leisure and health facilities and good pedestrian and cycle
links to the town centre and access to public transport. The brief also covers the 1.42-ha site of the adjacent Smith House, currently occupied by the Royal Bank of Scotland, which the council believes has the potential to be comprehensively redeveloped as part of the MOD Site. At the site’s northern end stands the Grade II-listed 18th century Feltham House, which is on Historic England’s Heritage 'at risk' register, due to its poor condition, vacancy and lack of an identified purpose. The brief seeks ideas for using this historic structure within the regeneration project. A significant number of new residents at the MOD site are likely to run home-based businesses and as a result, will need support infrastructure such as office and meeting space facilities, equipment and technology. Given its proximity to the town centre, the council wants the site to fit with it and therefore expects a mix of four-to-six storey blocks of flats and two-to-three storey family town houses, though possibly up to eight storeys facing the new green space. It will be a requirement that the site fits seamlessly into the rest of Feltham and does not become a separate gated community. Public transport access from the site is somewhat low at present, which in turn inhibits the population density that could be achieved. To deal with this problem, the council wants developers to work with Transport for London to improve public transport accessibility, cycle and pedestrian access, ensure the site’s ‘permeability’, improve access to Feltham train station and allow for future bus service extensions. Car parking is planned towards the lower end of the London Plan’s range to combat traffic congestion in the area. The planning brief notes also that Feltham lies within the 'Heathrow Opportunity Area', one of the 38 places designated as such by the London Plan, with significant potential to accommodate new housing, commercial and other development linked to an improved public transport system. The London Plan states: “In Hounslow, there is capacity to continue the rejuvenation of Feltham as a town centre and to develop the borough’s strategically important industrial offer."
GW | Projects
FERN GROVE Hounslow Council has given a resolution to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of a site in Fern Grove, Feltham, to provide 62 apartments, 25 of them planned as affordable, contained in two separate blocks of four-to-six storeys with roof gardens. The 0.34 hectare plot is around 200 metres north of Feltham station, and is located within the Feltham Housing Zone. This project requires the demolition of an existing industrial unit and architects made a case for taller buildings without affecting the areaâ€™s character, the recommendation for planning permission stated. Section 106 agreements are still to be agreed before final planning permission is granted.
HOUNSLOW TOWN CENTRE HOUSING ZONE Hounslow’s town centre is one of 30 areas in London declared by the Greater London Authority as a housing zone, which will unlock additional funding, helping to speed up housebuilding. Plans include development with a value of £1.3 billion, towards which the mayor will contribute £21.21 million. By 2025, there will be 3,900 homes built, of which 1,397 are aimed at being affordable, with nearly 7,000 construction jobs set to be created. Some of these homes have been completed. Hounslow has seen an influx of people from surrounding higher-priced areas and its proximity to Heathrow airport and the M4 motorway make it an attractive area to invest. Already under way is the redevelopment of the civic centre site in Lampton Road by social landlord Notting Hill Housing Group and builder Bouygues. This will provide 919 new homes, of which 459 will be for private sale, 370 for shared ownership and 90 for affordable rent. A new Civic Centre, replacing the one in Lampton Road, will be built on what was a car park site, including a new public library and cafe, providing a new landmark in the town centre. There will be major public realm improvements in the town centre to increase shopper footfall and attract new cultural and leisure opportunities. Hounslow Council's deputy leader, Councillor Amrit Mann said: “Regeneration is gathering pace and we are excited by the developments.
“These are part of our commitments we have made to build and provide more good quality housing, including affordable homes, as well as supporting economic growth and improving our town centres. “We will also ensure there is the minimum disruption and residents can continue to use and park at our town centres as normal.” A landscape strategy will see green corridors provided throughout the development, connecting the site to existing green infrastructure via treelined shared surface streets, public open spaces and gardens with incidental play features. Building of the first phase began in December 2016 and will provide 160 homes which are planned as affordable. Elsewhere, developer Countryside is building the assembly on a site located between Pears Road and London Road. This project comprises the design and build of the five-form entry Hounslow Town Primary School, with sports and playing space, and 284 homes in a series of one-to-three bedroom apartments and four-bedroom houses, with a large landscaped space at its centre. Work began in summer 2017 and the first new homes will be ready in autumn 2018, with the whole project due for completion by early 2021. The school will provide 1,200 new places for pupils. Social landlord Network Housing Group will manage the assembly’s affordable homes.
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HOUNSLOW HIGH STREET QUARTER
LINDON BENNETT SCHOOL, HANWORTH
Barratt London is set to launch its 27-storey residential tower in Hounslow’s High Street Quarter in early 2018. It will feature 527 homes, of which 311 will be for private sale, 108 available for shared ownership and a further 108 which will be allocated as "affordable rent". The mixed-use scheme will provide around 12,500sq m of shops and restaurants, a new 10-screen multiplex cinema, and a new public square. Work started on the project in October 2017. Barratt’s commercial arm Wilson Bowden will develop the non-residential elements at the site.
The Lindon Bennett school for children with special needs in Hanworth can now accommodate more than 200 pupils, up from 130 students prior to its refurbishment. Services include soft play areas and a hydro pool for children aged three to 11. The £11.5 million school was opened in October 2017 by Hounslow mayor, Councillor Nisar Malik. Lindon Bennett will cater for children with visual impairments and physical and communication difficulties. It is one of five special needs schools which are being expanded in the borough.
LONDON ROAD, ISLEWORTH The redevelopment of the main road through Isleworth continues apace with two residential developments nearing completion. Developer Michael Shanly Homes has built a project of three threebedroom houses (below top) and 59 flats of between one and three bedrooms at Banks Place, on London Road, close to Isleworth station and local shops. Prices range from £350,000 - £410,000 for the apartments and £599,950 - £689,950 for the houses. There are 12 properties available for shared ownership, priced from £330,000 and from an initial 45% ownership share. Nearby, the London Road’s former Skoda garage has been redeveloped by London Square as a development of one-to-three bedroom apartments, each with a private balcony, winter garden or terrace. All properties have now been sold.
THE BRIDGE, FELTHAM
Construction was completed in September 2017 on The Bridge care facility (below left) for children with special needs at Feltham, one of a series of developments and improvements for special needs education. The £3 million pupil referral unit is in a purpose-built facility off Bedfont Lane in the grounds of Southville Primary School. It is due to open in early 2018, and will provide full-time education and support with specialist facilities for up to 30 local children, aged four to 11. A single-storey building with six classrooms, learning support facilities, a hall, and outdoor play space, the building is expected to gain a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for its sustainable design, which includes photovoltaic solar panels and a rain-water harvesting system. Councillor Tom Bruce, cabinet member for education, children’s and youth services said: “This new facility will play a key role in ensuring the increasing number with special needs have the support they need in a fantastic new building.”
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London Square is delighted to be building in Hounslow with our latest development, London Square Isleworth, a new community of contemporary 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with a superb specification and spacious living areas. With a £2 billion development pipeline, we are on target to dominate the London market, building 1,000 homes a year, ranging from homes for first-time buyers, to cool city apartments, smart family homes, grand restorations and conversions. Each scheme is bespoke, combining inspiring architecture, clever design and specification, and the highest standards of energy efficiency. For more information on our portfolio or to join our award winning team, please contact us. CALL 01895 627333 OR VISIT WWW.LONDONSQUARE.CO.UK
www.londonsquare.co.uk Computer generated images depict London Square Isleworth, London Square Canada Water, London Square Caledonian Road, London Square Bermondsey, London Square New Kings Road, London Square Staines upon Thames, London Square Streatham Hill and are indicative only. Details are correct at time of going to press – March 2017.
GW | Business winners
TRADE TRIUMPHS Mia Wicks speaks to winners at the fifth annual Hounslow Business Awards, held in 2017, about the benefits of being based in Hounslow and how their requirements for development and growth are being fulfilled
ounslow is perhaps best known for bluechip multinationals such as GlaxoSmithKline and BSkyB operating along the so-called Golden Mile; a stretch of the A4 and M4 which runs through Osterley and Brentford to Chiswick – and the first business district reached on the way into central London from Heathrow airport. But this west London borough is not just about globally recognised corporate companies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) succeed in Hounslow too; a factor local businesses put down to a myriad of reasons, from a supportive local authority, easy access to central London and global markets via nearby Heathrow Airport, as well as the
Top: Winners at the 2017 business awards included Russell Finex, Martha Brook and Farah Qureshi (middle).
space and platforms needed to help reach their goals. The inaugural Hounslow Business Awards were held in 2013 to recognise the achievements of these local businesses. Established by the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local road services provider Hounslow Highways, the awards are held annually. Previous winners have included nurseries, marketing organisations and hotels. In 2017, companies to walk off with prizes included a stationery company – a prizewinner for the second year running – a jewellery designer and an industrial sieving equipment firm. So how has their success been achieved? Great West catches up with the winners.
unique ideas are important. It’s also important to look after your workforce and make people feel valued. How are you expanding your customer base? We internationally export 80% of what is made. We have subsidiary companies in Belgium, the States, China and India. We partake in digital marketing, and a large number of our customers found us online. Our YouTube channel shows our machines working and is available worldwide. We have a huge range of equipment in comparison to our competitors. What are the economic challenges you will be facing in the next year, and how will you overcome them? Do you think Brexit will have an effect – if so, how? If Brexit does happen, we will need to make it as easy as possible for our European customers to continue shopping with us. If there are additional tariffs added to the purchasing of our products from European countries, the company might need to swallow it and pay the tariff, in order to stay in competition with our rivals. There is no clarity on what is going to happen; it’s all up in the air.
Ray Singh (above left), Russell Finex's managing director. The company won Business of the Year, Best Business for Marketing and Social Media and Innovator of the Year.
What: Designs and manufactures sieving and filtration machines used in industries globally. When: Founded in 1934. Where: Feltham, Hounslow. Winning three awards is quite an achievement. Why do you think the judges valued Russell Finex and recognised your achievements in categories such as innovation, marketing and social media? We’ve been growing year-on-year. In six years, the business turnover has doubled, with almost a third more employees. We offer all employees non-contributory pension schemes, and not many companies can say that. We have no external shareholders, so we are able to profit-share bonuses to all employees and reinvest the remaining money back into the business. Over the last two years our employees have earned the equivalent of three years’ salary due to high bonuses. We have recently opened a new liaison office in Brazil, as well as launching further language websites, such as Thai and Hungarian, with more in the pipeline. Efforts have also increased through various corporate digital marketing and social media channels, including several improvements to the global website, improving usability on mobile and desktop versions. How has Hounslow Council supported you? Hounslow Council has done so much in creating awareness about Russell Finex. It is helpful with dealing with issues and difficulties across the board and transportation of products overseas is made easy, especially as the borough is near Heathrow,
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs setting up businesses in Hounslow? There are so many capable people in the area. Hounslow is thriving, and it is very competitive, so
Pictured: Russell Finex, which produces sieving equipment for a range of companies throughout the world.
You have a huge range of customers. How do you manage to provide products for specific needs? We have tailored products to specific markets. We work with lots of different-sized companies and in practically every industry you can think of. Products with which you will be familiar go through our equipment. For example, chocolate on most shop shelves is filtered through our equipment to make sure it is not contaminated.
GW | Business winners
Have you experienced an increase in demand for recycling equipment due to pressure on organisations to become green? Recycling in general is huge at present. We recycle batteries and plastic bottles. Keeping up with the future of 3D printing, we’ve experienced an increase in demand for the machine
called AMPro, which is one we’ve recently started producing. This guarantees quality in ‘Additive Manufacturing Powder’, to enable virgin and used powder to be recycled back into the 3D printer and reused. Russell Finex is also involved in the process of purifying the water on board cruise liners which don’t want to dump dirty water into areas of natural beauty, Are you able to locate suitably trained staff in the area? We have a large number of employees who live in walking distance of the site, maybe a 10-minute drive. We employ apprentices and graduates every year and they are trained by the company. We believe this is really important. We first arrived in Hounslow in 1960s, and when companies started moving manufacturing overseas, Russell Finex decided to stay put.
based from our home – and it was quite difficult, but it’s great to have moved up to having our own staff and premises. Making enough profit to reinvest back into the business has been a key factor over the last four years, and it does help that property in Hounslow is more affordable than in central London. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in Hounslow? Anyone setting up a business in Hounslow needs to make sure they have a clear and well thought-out plan, with a thorough understanding of cash flow. It’s also really important to ask for help from and to connect with your local council, as you may not be aware of the opportunities available to you. Mary Macleod, who was our local MP at the time we were setting up, also really helped boost our profile and David Cameron mentioned us in a speech when he was in Number 10, which was a great feeling.
Martha Keith (above), founder of Martha Brook (formerly Love Give Ink), named Best SME.
What: Creates unique and individual stationary sets and paper-based gifts. When: Founded in 2013. Where: Martha Brook is located on the Great West Road near Brentford.
What inspires you? The desire to create fresh designs that excite our audience. Inspiration comes from a number of different places. We have a two-way conversation with customers, to see what they want, as well as life events such as weddings and birthdays. We create products with a story behind them, many inspired by London.
Well done on the award. What do you think made you stand out as Best SME? I think [because] we’ve grown so rapidly and in the way we’ve found a niche market. We have created a very personal, relatable brand for our customers, as well as operating successfully in the world of social media. How has the council supported you? We are so proud to be a west London business; the [Hounslow] Chamber of Commerce is especially supportive for small businesses. The council helps us raise awareness and bring attention to the work we’re doing. It’s also really good at connecting us with other businesses in the area. What challenges have you faced as a small business? Starting out is obviously really tough. I left a big corporate career to start a small business – initially
How do you ensure quality control? Quality is one of our company’s main values. All of the production is completed in-house, most products are personalised and we complete around 100 per day. There is a process before products are out of the door, where a number of different people check it. We are continually trying to improve in any way we can. Pictured: Martha Brook is enjoying sales growth for its range of stationery products.
Are you able to locate suitably trained staff in the area? Absolutely - most of our staff live in the area. We have big plans to grow our business in 2018, but our roots will always be in Hounslow.
GW | Business winners
Pictured: Farah Qureshi's jewellery has been recognised for its design and eco-credentials.
Farah Qureshi (above), Best Green Business
What: Contemporary jewellery company. When: Qureshi began as a part time jeweller and has been running the company full-time since 2014. Where: A Hounslow resident, Qureshi registered the business in the borough.
Congratulations. Why do you think you were selected for the green award? I really endeavour to incorporate best green practice into my jewellery business. Producing the jewellery locally ensures there is a low carbon footprint. I also use recycled silver and gold as much as possible and I am a Fairtrade gold licensee. This means the mines where the material is sourced are run in an environmentally friendly way. The miners are all paid a fair wage, so the communities around them also benefit from a greater standard of living. I buy materials from local suppliers, ensuring that the local jewellery industry benefits and any cut-offs are recycled and use a non-toxic acid when creating the pieces. How has Hounslow Council helped you? The council has offered us free business training, which has proven to be really useful. On a few occasions I’ve attended free day business courses offered by the council on public speaking, social media, and one held by a women’s business coach. What challenges have you faced as a small business? Starting up a jewellery business required a large investment, and I incorporated my savings and a government loan and started the business on a budget. This has meant that the progress of the business has been more gradual than I would have liked. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up business in Hounslow? Hounslow is a really good base to set up in. The Chamber of Commerce is a really supportive system for businesses in the area. The borough is a thriving SME and large business hub. West London is second only to the City of London for business generated.
How are you expanding your customer base? I have stocked shops all over the UK, a huge range of concert halls and galleries. I’m also currently expanding internationally into Dubai. I recently stocked the shop London Rocks in EC1 and Boutique Pod in SW15. I’ll now be stocking a jewellery gallery in Richmond, and will be taking part in a pop-up showcase, as well as a jewellery show in Canary Wharf and we will be taking part in trunk shows. What are the economic challenges you will be facing in the next year, and how will you overcome that? What effect will Brexit have on your business? There is so much uncertainty at the moment, which is worrying, and as a business I’m unsure of what could happen in the next year and the pound sterling is weak in comparison to the dollar. However, this could have a positive effect on products being sold abroad – they may become more reasonably priced for my international customers. Where do you get inspiration for your ideas? Most of my imagery is plucked from botanical gardens. I find the natural world fascinating; there is so much variety in botanical imagery. Living in a large metropolis inspires me to seek out a more natural beauty. I am inspired by the huge variety of shapes, forms, colours, textures and structures that lie within the natural world. I really enjoy visiting different cultures, galleries and museums. What other streams are there to your business? We have an online platform, through our own website, as well as our products being available on Not On the High Street, a website which sells bespoke personalised gifts. How do you ensure quality control? I study the finished piece to make sure it is perfect. I delegate small jobs to different businesses. For example, the engraving of the jewellery will be done elsewhere.
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GW | Sport
GROUNDS FOR CHANGE Thousands of people attend football and rugby matches in Hounslow throughout the year and now its sports teams are set to move to new, bigger and better facilities, with communities being forged in their wake. James Cracknell reports
he next few years will see tens of millions of pounds invested by both the public and private sectors into improving and expanding Hounslow's sports provision. While there has always been an excellent range of sports facilities in the borough, the developments now under way represent a transformation in what residents will be able to access and enjoy during their leisure time. Chief among these investments is the long-awaited construction of a new stadium for Brentford Football
Pictured: The Brentford Community Stadium could be finished in time for the 2019/2020 football season.
Club at a brownfield site next to Kew Bridge Station, just down the road from its existing home at Griffin Park. The venue will not only provide a platform for The Bees to achieve their ambition of playing Premier League football, but also secure the return of Aviva Premiership rugby team London Irish to the capital. The ÂŁ70 million scheme has been in the works for several years but has been delayed over various difficulties with land acquisition since it was first proposed. In late 2017, Lionel Road Developments and Kew Bridge Gate Developments, on behalf of
Brentford FC, sought and obtained permission from Hounslow Council to revise the stadium plan to ensure its financial viability and overcome any remaining obstacles to it being built. Now, with the final hurdles jumped, Brentford Community Stadium will soon become a reality. Sally Stephens, the project operations manager for the scheme, tells Great West: "We are clearing the site to start stadium construction in February 2018. The earliest we could have the stadium finished is early autumn 2019, so we are currently planning for a midseason move in December that year, following the completion of successful test events. "We know the stadium and surrounding area will be buzzing and exciting when football and rugby matches are being played, but we also want it to be somewhere where people want to get together at other times. â€œOur new public square in front of the stadium will be the focal point and will help attract people to visit and linger. This development is right at the heart of Hounslow Council's vision to regenerate the whole Great West Corridor area and we are leading the way, in what promises to be an exciting period of change." As a home to two top-class professional sports teams, the 17,250-capacity Brentford Community Stadium promises to become a brand new cultural focal point for Hounslow, spurring investment and attracting new businesses to the area.
Pictured: London Irish (below) and Brentford FC (right) will both play at the facility (below right) when it opens.
The development is being led by Be Living, part of the Willmott Dixon Group. The revised design includes upgrades to media facilities in order to meet modern Premier League football and Premiership rugby standards, while making it more compact and improving access to the stadium. It has also expanded the number of premium seats to be included, from 1,800 to 2,900, with seven different premium lounge options. Alongside the stadium, the former industrial Lionel Road site will be transformed with a new public square, retail and entertainment units, offices for Brentford Community Sports Trust, and 487 homes. Matthew Townend, managing director at Be Living, says: "This project will deliver much-needed new housing, including many new homes to rent as well as buy in this first phase of the development, and help create a vibrant new community that acts as a catalyst for regeneration in the area." Brentford's current home for more than a century, Griffin Park, will be demolished after the football club relocates to Lionel Road. Permission has been granted on this site for 75 homes and work will begin in 2020, following the completion of the new stadium. Elsewhere in Hounslow, Grasshoppers Rugby Club is set to move to a new ÂŁ10 million multi-sports facility in Osterley, between Syon Lane and Wood Lane.
GW | Sport
We know the stadium and surrounding area will be buzzing
by Grasshoppers but by various community groups and schools. The move for Grasshoppers away from MacFarlane Lane will also enable a new academy school to be built on the site by 2020, itself boasting excellent modern sports facilities including a fourcourt multi-use games area, indoor sports hall, and rugby pitches. Hounslow Council has also recently announced a major investment of £2 million in three of its leisure centres. Hanworth Air Park Leisure Centre, Isleworth Leisure Centre, and New Chiswick Pool, are set to be modernised by Fusion Lifestyle, the independent sport and leisure charity, which manages the facilities. The improvements include a new ‘splash pad’ and increased capacity for lessons and competitive swimming races at Hanworth, better spectator facilities at Isleworth, and refurbished changing rooms at New Chiswick. The scheme is being funded directly by Hounslow Council and features three new rugby pitches, including one with an all-weather surface, plus three netball courts and a new clubhouse with changing rooms, physiotherapy studio, gym, meeting rooms, offices and club shop. Consultancy firm Pick Everard has been appointed by the council to deliver the new sports facility for Grasshoppers. Allan Cowie, regional director at Pick Everard, says: "These proposed new facilities will provide Grasshoppers RFC with the opportunity to strengthen and grow their current rugby and netball specialisms. “Developing the design with a contemporary feel was really important to the club and to the council. This is why we have created a simple and clean building form using crisp modern materials while also referencing the historic club colour scheme. "We are excited to be working on this leisure project for Hounslow Council." The development is designed to be used not just
Councillor Samia Chaudhary, cabinet member for green policy and leisure at Hounslow Council, says: “We are committed to providing opportunities for all our residents to be able to live healthy, active lifestyles and improve their wellbeing and quality of life. “Investment into the leisure centres across the borough will mean that residents will be able to be supported in taking up an activity, keeping fit and healthy. It also means more people can interact with the community in which they live.” Anthony Cawley, operations director at Fusion Lifestyle, says: “We have made a commitment to
Pictured: Grasshoppers rugby team is set to move to a new £10 million facility in Osterley.
nurture these sports and leisure facilities in Hounslow, and this includes making a serious investment in their improvement and upkeep. "Our plans for all the centres have been designed to improve the experience for our members and the public, providing them with better facilities. “It is a privilege to be involved in the running of these incredibly popular and important sites across Hounslow, and it is our role to ensure that they continue to serve the community for years to come, whether that’s providing a major new addition to the site, or refurbishing much-loved tired facilities. “As an independent charity, we invest heavily in creating, restoring and transforming local facilities, and we believe communities in Hounslow will really benefit from what we are proposing.” In an update on progress with the work since the leisure centre investment was announced last year, a Fusion spokesperson tells Great West: “The initial tender for the works was completed in October. "The works programme is now being tendered as separate packages. We are waiting for the final submissions and we are confident we will secure a look at the details of these projects. We expect the works will start at the three centres in early 2018.” There are few London boroughs with as many stadium developments and opportunities for sports participation as in Hounslow.
FUTURE TRAVEL The London Borough of Hounslow could be seen as the gateway to the world with its easy access to Heathrow airport, but its connections within the UK are about to receive a major boost too, with key infrastructure projects on the horizon. Shailja Morris reports
GW | Connectivity
ounslow’s transport connections have always been key to its prosperity. The borough’s proximity to Heathrow airport, the A4 ‘Golden Mile’ powerhouse, with a wealth of bluechip multinational companies and good road and train links to London, continue to offer strong tailwinds for growth. A series of new proposals that include the creation of the new rail links to HS2 and Crossrail and significant infrastructure developments around the Golden Mile all signal a new era of prosperity. In the background, the consultation around a third runway that could support up to 70,000 new jobs at Heathrow has been reopened. The West London Economic Prosperity Board approved plans for the West London Orbital Railway in the autumn. The proposed 11-mile track will start at either Brent Cross or Cricklewood before merging with existing mainline services at Acton Central and running to Hounslow railway station. This will involve extending and recommissioning the current Dudding Hill freight line for passenger use. These plans have just been submitted to Transport for London, which has already signalled support in principle for the scheme through the draft 'Mayor’s Transport Strategy', consulted on in summer 2016. Luke Ward, head of growth, employment and skills at the West London Alliance, tells Great West: “The West London Orbital would create 65,000 jobs, spread out across all six boroughs that fall within its scope. It offers huge opportunities for regeneration in Hounslow, attracting businesses and more visitors to the area.” A journey along the whole line from Barnet to Hounslow would take approximately 39 minutes. It would enable residents to travel from Hounslow to Old Oak Common and then also join services to Brent and Wembley and beyond to Hertfordshire and the north without going into central London.
Mark Frost, head of transport at Hounslow explains: “There are obvious benefits of better connecting Hounslow with neighbouring metropolitan town centres and outer London opportunity areas. It can often be quicker and more reliable to travel 10 or more miles into central London by public transport than get to Ealing or Brent. The West London Orbital Railway has a strong business case, especially if you include Old Oak Common which will have good links with Crossrail and HS2 not to mention huge growth proposed in the area. If approved, it could be delivered by 2026 in tandem with HS2.” The Golden Mile – the 2.4-mile stretch of the A4 running between Gillette Corner and Chiswick Park, currently accommodates more than 20,000 jobs. Strong growth in the media and digital sector has created a large number of micro businesses and SMEs. Options for serviced offices or flexible workspaces are being explored to develop a digital hub. The Great West Corridor Masterplan and Capacity Study 2017 has identified potential for a further 14,000 new jobs and 5,200 new homes in the area. To accommodate this, a further new rail line is proposed, with a new station at Transport Avenue, Brentford, between GlaxoSmithKline and Sky’s
Pictured: Hounslow's road links connect the west London borough to Heathrow airport and central London.
headquarters. It would connect with Southall via a new passenger rail service using a disused freight line and could be operational by 2021/22. The first stage of the line would be between Southall, GSK and Sky. A possible second phase would include an onward link to Brentford rail station on the South Western railway network by 2030. Frost explains: “Southall will be served by Crossrail which, as well as serving central London, goes to Reading and along the airport corridor and beyond. It opens up a huge range of new travel options for commuters and residents from out west who are likely to currently make their journeys to places like Sky and GSK by car.” He adds: “The practical consequence is that the working age population within an hour’s commute of those key businesses will increase by 50%, or over a million adults. This will improve recruitment and retention for local business.” The council is also working with Sky to develop a link allowing people to access Sky’s main campus in MacFarlane Lane from Boston Manor tube station on the Piccadilly line. A 750m-long boardwalk is being considered to reduce the walking time of the existing 2.5km journey by a third. Also in consultation phase is 'cycle superhighway 9' along the A315. This £70 million investment is initially proposed to run from Hammersmith to Brentford via Chiswick, before extending to Hounslow. It will significantly improve cycle safety and will help encourage a whole new generation of cyclists, who to date may have been put off by fears of safety. Within the Hounslow High Street Quarter, hundreds of affordable homes will form part of a new development featuring a multiscreen cinema, shops and restaurants. This area is being boosted by £18.5 million from Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, to stimulate jobs and business growth and accelerate high-quality housebuilding. The housebuilding target is 3,900 new homes by 2025. To the far west of Hounslow borough, near Heathrow, there are plans for a new overground link from London Waterloo to connect Feltham, Bedfont Lakes Business Park and Terminal 5. As well as offering a viable transport service to Bedfont Lakes and improved connections for residential communities, it will also unlock space for further employment and residential growth. Hounslow’s economy has been one of the best performing in London in recent years. Between 2008 and 2013, the borough saw an increase of more than 15,000 jobs, representing 12% growth. This was double the London average and higher than other west London boroughs. Once its ambitious infrastructure plans start taking shape, this borough on the western reaches of London could boost its reputation as a west London powerhouse, attracting visitors, large enterprise businesses and employment opportunities.
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HOUNSLOW'S VITAL STATISTICS There are 1,230 hectares of Metropolitan Green Belt in Hounslow
HOUNSLOW PARKS AWARDED GREEN FLAG STATUS
A third runway at Heathrow could create 40,000 new jobs
Feltham Housing Zone Cost: £1.1 billion: the GLA has committed £32.6 million 56
Homes: 3,339 homes, 1,406 are planned as affordable
Jobs: 6,678 in construction to be created
Hounslow Urban Farm is one of London’s largest. The space allows for the safe handling of farm animals
GW | Markets
Lindon Bennett School can now accommodate more than 200 pupils with special needs
Hounslow High Street Quarter site to include
527 NEW HOMES
HOUNSLOW IS THE 8TH GREENEST BOROUGH IN LONDON
TO RENOVATE GUNNERSBURY PARK 57
SITEMATCH OPPORTUNITY: FELTHAM MOD SITE Hounslow Council’s housebuilding priorities are high on its agenda and the local authority is identifying key sites – one of which is a Ministry of Defence-owned site in Feltham. Huub Nieuwstadt reports
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is planning to dispose of a 14-ha site adjacent to Feltham Town Centre, for which Hounslow Council is looking for a landowner or developer to implement a "highquality" mixed-use redevelopment. With space for 1,300 new homes of mixed tenure, 40% of which are aimed at being affordable, the council plans also include office and commercial floorspace, as well as local retail, education, community, health and leisure uses. Located in the south-east of the borough and to the south of Heathrow Airport, the land has a number of former barrack buildings, as well as 3.8ha of open space for recreational purposes. The army established a base at the site in the early 20th century, which today contains the Defense Geographic Centre. The MOD announced in November 2016 that the site will be closed and disposed of to make way for new homes. A key feature of the site is the Grade II-listed Feltham House.
The northern part of the site lies within the Feltham Town Centre Conservation Area. Feltham train station is an eight-minute walk away, with regular services to London Waterloo, Reading and Windsor. Heathrow Airport is a 15-minute drive from the site. The opportunity falls within the wider regeneration of the Feltham area. The Mayor of London has designated Feltham Town Centre as a Housing Zone, unlocking a potential £32 million in Greater London Authority funding. Other regeneration sites in the two Hounslow housing zones include Lampton Road and School Road. The goal is to build more than 7,000 homes across the two zones by 2026. To find out more about these sites, contact Marilyn Smith, chief planning officer: email@example.com or Joyce Ip, acting team leader, regeneration: joyce.ip@ hounslow.gov.uk, to find out more.
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