Deal agreed for £90m Oxford Street revamp

14th September 2023 | Jack Oliver

Westminster City Council and the New West End Company (NWEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement to jointly-fund a £90m pound revamp of Oxford Street.

Councillors have also approved the business case for the scheme and approved £7.7m of funding for the next phase of design work.

London’s Oxford Street has long been criticised for falling behind many other top retail destinations, having been overrun by American candy shops and vacant units.

The proposals include various changes between Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road, including the widening of pavements, the creation of amenity spaces, and increased trees and greenery.

Currently, the width of the historic shopping street varies from end-to-end, however the plans propose to create a consistent 6.5 metre width for the carriageway, allowing two-way traffic along the street. It is also hoped that the increased space will provide comfort for pedestrians.

The proposals also include details of 16 designated “amenity spaces”, which are designed to provide a place for pedestrians to gather and rest, with seating and greenery to enhance the appeal of these spots.

Other proposed changes include street lighting upgrades, upgraded and new pedestrian crossings, the creation of cycle lanes, updated bus stops, new taxi ranks, and bike and e-scooter parking.

Construction work is now expected to begin in Autumn 2024.

Councillor Geoff Barraclough, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “After years of abandoned schemes, we are now about to finally get under way with a deliverable plan to breathe new life into Oxford Street. With the support of our partners at NWEC, we now have a coalition of the council, retailers, landowners, and others in place to develop a practical but also ambitious plan.

“The West End constantly needs to adapt if it is to continue to be a draw to shoppers. The buzz is definitely back on Oxford Street with brands like IKEA and HMV taking up space in Oxford Street, and the prospect of new galleries and arts spaces will make it a great all-round experience.

“The UK’s high street needs to be a place that local communities, residents, and visitors can feel pride in. The New West End Company and Westminster City Council have a long track record in successful collaboration, and together with local communities we will work to ensure it remains a prime visitor attraction.”

Dee Corsi, chief executive of the NWEC, added: “We are confident that the proposed plans, that have been well received by both the local community and businesses, will catapult it into the twenty first century. Hot on the heels of the completion of the Elizabeth Line, that has supported 73 million journeys to the district since opening, the partnership between NWEC and Westminster City Council will improve and enhance the visitor experience from the moment our visitors arrive on Oxford Street.

“Alongside ambitious mixed-use developments, experiential retail and immersive leisure offerings, an improved public realm is the missing centre piece of the jigsaw that will ensure long term sustainable growth.”


Looking for more retail news? you might find these interesting