Creating an event space for Fitzrovia
The aim of the project is to create a new event space that can be at the forefront of Fitzrovia’s public realm improvements. We want to make use of a unique heritage feature at South Crescent, Store Street by temporarily turning it into a flexible space for all to enjoy. Our project will complement the Council’s West End Project currently in progress and due to be delivered in 2017-18. The main scheme will focus on an improved consumer experience and will include design solutions to better integrate the events space into the wider high street offer, so that Fitzrovia can better retain potential footfall and dwell times and create additional spend.
The aim of the project is to create a performance area to host a range of activity such as a Christmas market (with revenue stream), music, film and poetry festival, and built environment & heritage celebrations, as at present, there is nowhere in the area to host such activity. A pop-up ‘London in Bloom’ garden will also be created.
What we’ll do:
- Create a platform event space that can be temporarily installed and put away into storage when not being used
- When not being used, consider a pop-up garden and alfresco cafe (weather permitting) for people to enjoy
- Host a range of events and activities for people to enjoy and to create additional spend into the area
- Hold a design competition for local design professionals to work with us to determine what the space will look like
- Create a marketing campaign between the BID and all stakeholders of the space to encourage new audiences to benefit
- Consider use of planters and hanging baskets to improve local air quality issues on surrounding buildings
- Install appropriate, attractive temporary street furniture (as required)
- Install new lighting and electrical points to host a wider range of interactive event activity
- Install new way-finding signage at Tottenham Court Road to encourage people to visit the space
- Work with Camden Council to improve existing booking system for the space so that it can be fully utilised
- Introduce a ‘London in Bloom’ pop-up garden and Sculpture Festival, to improve the green and cultural offer
Why it’s a great idea:
This project will create public realm improvements complementary to the Council’s West End Project and in the spirit of previous community consultation, with the BID and stakeholders ‘pump-priming’ to get an early start . It will improve the look and feel of Fitzrovia , provide a better ‘sense of place’, increase access within the area, create a feeling of creativity & innovation and enhance the local area’s character. Improvements to the space will facilitate their creative use (mini markets, festivals, art installations etc). The scheme will give support and promote local businesses located in Fitzrovia and will encourage support and participation of local traders and community groups. Improved amenity should increase the potential additional spend to the High Street via an attractive events schedule. If this bid is successful, there will finally be a bespoke event space for business and community events for the first time ever in Fitzrovia.
How we’ll get it done:
- Work with the Council to obtain an agreement in principle for us to undertake the work
- Provide opportunity for local people and businesses to share ideas and feedback throughout the project
- Work with Building Centre’s approved contractors to install lighting and electrical points
- Work with the Council to design name signs and way-finding and commission these
- Seek contributions from freeholders and local businesses to maximise the grant and improvement potential
- Fully investigate the ‘platform’, with materials, design, installation and storage considerations (when not being used)
- Work with The Building Centre, NLA, and the Community Forum to develop a range of events and marketing opportunities
- Create a competition where local design professionals could outline what they think the space could look like
- Create a panel to become a ‘space management’ team to select the best design for a performance/display space
- Develop a maintenance schedule for the space, to involve input and funding by stakeholders of the panel
This project has full Council support in terms of match funding, and assisting with the required approvals, as owner of the space. The Building Centre, one of the key stakeholders, has given support to the project and will commission a full design and consultation process as part of their in-kind match-funding, up to the value of £10,000. In turn the BID will match-fund this amount in cash. We want to complete our project in 2016 before the main WEP scheme starts. We will maintain public engagement and support of the major Scheme and reassure local people that change is coming. In terms of logistics doing the smaller project ahead of the major scheme will cause less disruption than doing it in tandem, doing the project after will lessen its impact and not give the High Street Funded project the recognition it deserves. This is the chance for Fitzrovia to get the events space that it deserves for all to enjoy. Team individuals have relevant professional, voluntary and grant experience.