Consultation launched on emerging concepts to ‘Bring the wonder back’ to 40-acre earls court site
- Existing structures to be celebrated and repurposed as part of the journey to go beyond net-zero
- The Lillie Bridge Depot Building to be a focus for food and makers
- The existing deck over the West London rail lines to be the centre of flexible new green public space at the heart of the site
- New cultural spaces to be created
- Plans will create around 4,500 new homes and over 12,000 jobs
In November 2021, The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) published its bold and ambitious vision “To bring the wonder back to Earls Court” and engaged in thousands of conversations with the local community.
Today, 27 June, ECDC has presented the feedback gained from that engagement, shared its emerging concepts to deliver the vision, and launched a new round of consultation with the community. There was a clear response to focus on three key areas:
- Make a place for everyone with green and open spaces to enjoy
- Create space for culture to reflect the site’s legacy
- Support jobs and investment lacking since the exhibition halls closed
The emerging concepts unveiled today form the basis of future plans that seek to create something truly outstanding, resilient and adaptable, befitting of this extraordinary and strategically important part of our capital city. Championing innovation will be central to plans to genuinely reflect the seismic changes which are continuing to impact how we live, work and spend time.
As part of an ambition to go beyond net zero, these plans focus on celebrating and retaining key structures on the site. This includes an idea to re-purpose the existing deck over the West London Line (known as “The Table”) – which could become the heart of a major flexible green open space – and looking to create a special feature of the Lillie Bridge Depot Building as a potential London destination for markets and maker spaces.
The Earls Court Development Company is committed to speaking and listening to as many residents as they can about their evolving proposals to ensure the plans are as inclusive as possible. As part of this, ECDC have launched a dedicated youth engagement programme, ‘The Earls Court Futures Programme’ and a Public Realm Inclusivity Panel which seeks to engage individuals, that usually don’t have their voices heard in consultation (for example young people, those with disabilities and older people).
This next stage of consultation launches on 25 June with retail space on Lillie Road named ‘Conversation Corner’ brought back into use, alongside masterplanning workshops, community fun days, pop-up at tube stations and local markets, and an online survey. For a full list of summer 2022 events and opening times, as well as how to submit feedback on the materials visit can be found at:
About The Earls Court Development Company
The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) is an Earl’s Court based business, responsible for driving the regeneration of the former Earls Court Exhibition Centre site, covering around 40 acres, on behalf of the Earls Court Partnership – a joint venture between Delancey (on behalf of its client funds including the Dutch pension fund manager, APG) and Transport for London (TfL) that was formed in December 2019. The first decision we took after acquiring the site was to hand back the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates – originally part of the previous owners’ masterplan – to Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
Regeneration of the Earls Court site
We have had thousands of conversations with residents, neighbours and local business about the future of the Earls Court site. In late 2021, we launched our latest phase of consultation, showcasing the priorities that will guide the regeneration of the site. This involved a series of in-person public events, webinars and masterplanning workshops with representatives of the local community, to ascertain their priorities for the emerging masterplan. Over the coming months, more detailed plans will be shared with the public, showcased at in-person and virtual events, alongside drop-ins at train stations and markets.
Further information about the consultation, and the latest materials, can be found here: https://theearlscourtdevelopmentcompany.com/the-site/the-vision-for-earls-court
Early delivery at Earls Court
ECDC’s site activation programme is central to the early delivery of our commitments both now and for the longer-term masterplan. We have succeeded in opening parts of the Earls Court site to the public for the first time in over a century. Since acquiring the site in 2019, we have developed close ties with our neighbours, local businesses and the wider community. Investing in the future of the area forms a core principle of our vision for Earls Court. To date, we have done the following:
- Homes at Empress Place: Refurbished and bought back into use properties along Empress Place, which were left derelict. During the height of the first national lockdown, these were provided as homes for key workers.
- Earls Court Community Fund: Last year, we established a £180,000 a year community fund. In October, grants were awarded to nineteen local organisations, including Dads House, Finsborough Theatre, Barons Court Project, Family Friends, and the Earl’s Court Community Trust, to support their work with local their work with local communities, young people and those at risk or vulnerable. Applications have now closed for this year’s round of funding.
- Warwick Road Apron: Last summer, the ‘Pleasure Garden’ installation, designed by local artists Baker & Borowski, was showcased at Warwick Road Apron, as part of K+C Art Week. This summer we are again partnering with K+C Art Week and a local artist, Azarra Amoy with an installation which will open to the public at the end of June.
- London Wonderground: In collaboration with Underbelly, we launched London Wonderground last summer. In total, we welcomed over 114,000 people to the event, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. We also created 120 temporary jobs and took 11 young people from the local area through the Underbelly Training Academy. Underbelly has returned to Earls Court this year. Launched in May and running until July, the festival showcases world-class performances and live shows, as well as providing the local community the opportunity to showcase on the bandstand and in the studio – a new, 75-seater event space.
- Community Hub: We have refurbished the former replacement homes ensuite along Aisgill Avenue into a Community Hub. Opened in May, a dedicated manager is based at the hub, with a range of activities and classes running throughout the week for people of all ages. We hope the space will become a focal point for the community to come together and meet with friends and family.
- Empress Studios: Working in partnership with Projekt, we have converted six derelict Victorian townhouses into 8,500 sq. ft of workspace for creatives and innovators within Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. Opening earlier this month, upwards of 30 new workspaces have been created, providing affordable studio and office space for the local arts and science industries.
- Lillie Road: We have turned our part of Lille Road into an active high street, providing opportunities for small businesses at The Pop-Up and providing space for small businesses and charities.
- Mannequin Factory: We are working on bringing immersive theatre alongside creative and cultural spaces to the former Mannequin Factory an empty building to the northwest of the site. We’ll be announcing more details shortly.