Right Up Hounslow’s StreetPosted on: July 11, 2019 at 3:43 pm
Hounslow Highways’ latest project to regenerate the pedestrianised area of Hounslow High Street marks the first step towards making the town centre more vibrant.
Work began in January 2014 to renew the hard landscaping, including the paving which combines feature granite and concrete blocks and incorporating new slot drainage units. New street furniture has been installed to include low-energy lighting, benches, decorative tree surrounds and bicycle parking, improving the street scene and ambience.
A number of trees have been planted within zoned areas – or ‘pocket parks’ – which reflect the designers, David Kohn Architects’, vision to develop the high street into an informal meeting place.
Further works which have taken place as part of the first phase include the opening of Bell Square (on Bell Road) as an outdoor performance area. Situated at the end of Hounslow High Street, it is a large square with seating and standing space where performances take place every other Saturday. An events pavilion will also be built to the west side of the performance area early next year.
A new war memorial commemorating the First World War was unveiled in Church Square in August. The square is also undergoing development to provide an outdoor performance area.
Shop owners on the high street were invited by the council to apply for funding to transform their shop fronts. Working with small businesses ranging from dry cleaners to pharmacies, a number of the shop fronts will receive makeovers to help attract customers, increase trade and enhance the aesthetics of the area.
Commissioned by the London Borough of Hounslow to carry out this major public realm scheme, Hounslow Highways is supporting the council’s strong and exciting vision for the borough. The regeneration of the high street – which has over 24,000 pedestrian movements each day – is a forerunner to a new shopping and public realm development just to the north of the high street.
A second phase of regeneration will follow from Douglas Road through to London Road, completing the full length of the pedestrianised shopping area from west to east. The improvements will include widening of footways, lowering of kerbs and reducing street clutter.
Coupled with the significant investment already being made in the borough through the Hounslow Highways Private Finance Initiative to improve the 259 miles of roads, 458 miles of footpaths and installation of 16,000 LED street lights across the borough, these developments will further enhance the amenities available to residents, help to attract new businesses and further strengthen the foundations for existing businesses.
Brendon Walsh, Director of Regeneration, Economic Development and Environment at the London Borough of Hounslow, said: “Our aim is to create a place to be proud of and which would provide a focus for community use, social activity and events through the creation of new public spaces. I am delighted with the results of phase one of the project and am very much looking forward to seeing the improvements phase two will bring to the local community.”
Rob Gillespie, Hounslow Highways Service Director, said: “We hope that the improved street scene will contribute to a stronger sense of pride in the area, as well as provide a more attractive town centre for people to shop, eat and relax in. The ongoing investment across the whole borough through the highways Private Finance Initiative is also of great importance to the long-term economic improvement and regeneration of Hounslow. The investment programme will reach the mid-point during 2015 and we will see many of the transport routes in the area vastly improved and the general street scene enhanced.”
In 2011, Hounslow was awarded £500,000 in Round 1 of the Outer London Fund which is designed to support economic growth in London’s high streets. In 2012, Hounslow received the largest combined award in Round 2 for Hounslow High Street (£1.2m) and Brentford (£1.8m), matched by £750,000 from Hounslow Council.