Ambitious plans to transform the Strand Aldwych into a world-class cultural and learning quarter have been unveiled in a Westminster City Council backed £28m council plan.
As an iconic gateway to the West End, the area is home to an extraordinary number of cultural, educational, creative institutions and many businesses with established residential neighbourhoods nearby. However, the area also suffers from significant challenges – poor public spaces and safety, traffic congestion and air quality issues – which means those who live, work or visit get a poor experience.
That’s why the council working with local organisations has developed proposals to address these challenges and create a world-class destination at Strand Aldwych, backed by £28m of council investment to deliver this exciting vision.
The key improvements include:
· Making it easier and safer to get around by removing the gyratory, having two-way traffic in Aldwych and removing it from part of the Strand.
· Improving public spaces across the whole area with an amazing new plaza proposed around St Mary Le Strand Church.
· Improving connections to South Bank, Covent Garden and the West End.
· Creating a cultural and learning quarter by joining up the world-renowned organisations and institutions in the area and supporting them to showcase their amazing offer.
· Tackling air quality issues as well as improving facilities for walking and cycling.
The council is now keen to hear from as many people, businesses and organisations as possible on these draft design ideas, so it can develop the best scheme for the area. The consultation will run from 30 January 2019 to 13 March 2019.
Cllr Richard Beddoe, Cabinet Member for Planning and Place Shaping, said:
“This historic gateway into the West End is home to some of the capital’s most famous cultural and academic institutions, as well as a major leisure destination in its own right with landmark theatres, hotels and other attractions.
“But the future success of the area is at risk because of traffic, poor air quality and inadequate public spaces. So working with local organisations we’ve developed some fresh ideas for the Strand Aldwych. These concept designs have come together following a great deal of discussion with local groups and we now want to get as much feedback as possible.
“Nothing is set in stone at this stage and we look forward to having constructive discussions as to how we can deliver a world-class scheme that benefits Westminster and London for many years to come.”