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An illustrated view of ‘A future for the Oxford Street district’

A vibrant centre for civic life and commerce with the world's best retail and culture destination at its heart

Oxford Street today

An infographic showing 30% of visitors to Oxford Street are international visitors

100 million people visit
Oxford Street each year, 30% of whom
are international visitors.

Oxford Street is recognised worldwide as a leading retail destination, visited by millions of people each year, and is a symbol of London and the West End. The area also employs around 114,600 people and is home to nearly 7,500 residents.

45% of jobs in the Oxford Street district
are within professional services, while
27% are in retail and wholesale.

  • Public services 6%
  • Professional services 45%
  • Art & entertainment 5%
  • Accommodation & food 8%
  • Retail & wholesale 27%
  • Other 9%

The need for change

Oxford Street is facing a number of challenges that currently prevent the district from realising its full potential. If they are addressed through the realisation of the business community’s aspiration for the area, Oxford Street’s economic performance, its identity and position as one of the world’s leading retail and business destinations will be enhanced and safeguarded for the future.

Five key challenges

  1. Poor air quality
  2. Poor road safety
  3. Inadequate public realm
  4. A shortage of commercial workspace
  5. Evolving retail trends and fierce global competition

The aspiration

The aspiration for Oxford Street would see it transformed from a single shopping street into a varied, entertaining and well-connected district of distinct neighbourhoods – a vibrant centre for civic life and commerce with the world’s best retail and culture destination at its heart.

Members of the West End’s business community are working together to ensure this bold aspiration is delivered.

The business community wishes to work with the public sector to create balance in the new Oxford Street district:

  • in the multi-layered functions and uses of this area of the West End;
  • between the varied and unique neighbourhoods that comprise the district, and all their formal and informal spaces, including the garden squares;
  • between the needs and interests of the rich mix of people who live, work, invest and visit here;
  • around the clock in the activities and events that create animation and delight; and
  • between the different modes of transport and the key district gateways (including Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Tottenham Court Road and Hanover Square) which enable people to access all that the district has to offer.
An illustrated view of ‘A future for the Oxford Street district'

The Oxford Street district will be a place for everyone, meeting the needs of all who come here to live, work, invest and visit, thanks to a carefully-balanced mix of uses and activities.

An illustrated view through an archway and an example of an app to help way finding in the district

It will be easy and enjoyable to move through and discover the sequence of spaces within the district, thanks to clear and intuitive wayfinding and a pleasant pedestrian environment, supported by amenity including seating, places to rest, public toilets and opportunities for play.

An illustration showing flexible and adaptable spaces for retail, leisure, culture and education

Increasing adaptability and flexibility of both internal and external spaces, the district will incorporate the widest possible range of uses – from workspace to experiential retail, and culture and leisure to education – animating the district at all times of the day.

An illustrated view of ‘A future for the Oxford Street district', looking at a side street

The district will recognise and celebrate the classic London condition of change, encouraging the highest quality design of architecture and public space. It will be animated with an exciting calendar of changing events.

An illustrated view of ‘A future for the Oxford Street district', looking at a garden square

Health and wellbeing will be prioritised in the new Oxford Street district, and people will be able to walk and cycle safely through its streets. Every effort will be made to ensure all parts of the district can be reached by those with limited mobility.

An illustrated view of ‘A future for the Oxford Street district, looking at the route to Marble Arch

Clear routes between Oxford Street and the surrounding neighbourhoods of Mayfair, Marylebone, Fitzrovia, Soho, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden and Hyde Park will encourage exploration and connections to the wider West End.

An illustrated view of ‘A future for the Oxford Street district' at night

Activity in the district will continue throughout the evening, providing new opportunities for entertainment, culture and productivity, and expanding the appeal of the destination for a new range of visitors to Oxford Street.

Delivering growth

An infographic showing 1,600–2,000 new jobs per year, 27,000–30,000 new jobs in the next 15 years, up to 30% more jobs could be accommodated on existing employment floor space

Alone as a single retail street, Oxford Street cannot continue to compete with modern shopping malls and town centre retail destinations offering better integrated entertainment and leisure. But if it is considered part of a diverse district within the wider West End, it can provide a unique wealth of retail, offices, amenity, homes, culture and leisure and make the most of opportunities for intensification and growth, namely:

  • The arrival of the Elizabeth Line in 2018
  • Capitalising on the demand for more experiential retail
  • Increasing employment density, to bring rates in line with other high-performing neighbouring commercial districts

How to do it

Delivering a new future for the Oxford Street district will require an innovative and collaborative approach, as well as a commitment from both the public sector and the business community. It will involve exploring ways to promote the Oxford Street district as an attractive and diverse international destination, with a clear emphasis on both economic performance and cultural distinctiveness.

The business community suggests 25 principles for action that could be undertaken by a range of local stakeholders in order to realise this future aspiration. These principles are grouped under four key themes:

  • Policy and guidance (principles 1 – 5)
  • Strategy (principles 6 – 12)
  • Connections and the public realm (principles 13 – 20)
  • Design, use and management (principles 21 – 25)

Click on the images below to learn more about each principle for action.

About

Inspired by the ambitious vision adopted by the West End Partnership for the wider West End, New West End Company has explored how this vision could be applied to Oxford Street and its surroundings, through a two year study of the area, undertaken by Publica, Volterra and Gerald Eve.

The aspiration for the future of this area shared on this website is intended both to inspire and to demonstrate how the Oxford Street district can make a greater contribution to the success of the West End, and in doing so secure its future as a world-class shopping, cultural and commercial centre.

Commissioned by

New West End Company logo New West End Company logo

In partnership with

Grosvenor, Derwent London, Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, Arcadia, Almacantar, Element Capital Group, Kenningham Retail, Lazari Investments, The Portman Estate, Primark, Shaftesbury, Fitzrovia Partnership, Pontegadea, Great Portland Estates Grosvenor, Derwent London, Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, Arcadia, Almacantar, Element Capital Group, Kenningham Retail, Lazari Investments, The Portman Estate, Primark, Shaftesbury, Fitzrovia Partnership, Pontegadea, Great Portland Estates

For more information, please contact:

New West End Company

newwestend.com

Third Floor, Heddon House, 149-151 Regent Street, London W1B 4JD