The Strand used to be the thriving centre of London’s book trade, its Victorian buildings filled with publishing houses and booksellers. After that, the spot became super affluent throughout the twentieth century thanks to its proximity to the West End and Covent Garden.
However, given that offices haven’t returned to their full capacity since the pandemic, the area has become a bit… well, vacant. But hopefully that won’t be the case for much longer. The Strand clearly has lots of potential thanks to its location, and now it’s been officially revealed that the area is getting a massive glow-up.
Westminster City Council, Transport for London and The Northbank BID have formed a partnership to upgrade the Strand over the next five years. The ‘Strand West Taskforce’ did some research and produced a report explaining how all the empty ground floor space could be put to much better use.
According to this proposal, the area between Trafalgar Square to Lancaster Place, which actually includes the Strand, the Western and Northern Strand, Villiers Street and the Victoria Embankment Gardens, is all set to be revitalised.
But what will they actually be doing? Well, it sounds like developers are keen to make the Strand an exciting destination in its own right by upping the ante on the restaurant and shopping front.
Firstly, developers have proposed an events programme and a pop-up programme to attract people to the area, and create a bit of buzz. While it’s got Covent Garden to compete with on the shopping front, a rotation of smaller independent businesses sounds like an exciting idea to give the Strand a refresh, particularly for all the students living in the area.
As it stands, the area consists almost exclusively of fast-food cafes and lunch places, but another part of the proposal is to increase the number of alfresco dining spots, which should be a good way to showcase the historic architecture.
As well as ensuring The Strand still attracts office workers, developers are keen to improve the residential amenities too, and to make it feel more like an actual neighbourhood for the people that live around there.
The ever changing cityscape and Time Out
It feels like London is constantly changing, for better or worse, and at Time Out we cover all the latest regeneration projects happening in the capital. From the £1.5 million makeover of these gorgeous Bermondsey arches and the new Thames embankment in Putney to the huge makeover happening at London Victoria, we’re the place to read about upgrades across the city.
Did you see that two more tube stations now have these iconic maze designs?
Listen to Time Out’s brilliant new podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: episode 11 with Ania Magliano in Haggerston is out now.
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