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Aug 08 2012

Lowlands Recreation Ground Town Park

An outdoor performance space that will bring a vibrant carnival atmosphere to the town centre will be opened by Harrow Council by September next year.

The £1.28m project will transform the underused Lowlands Recreation Ground by Harrow-on-the-Hill Station. It will be beautifully landscaped to house outdoor events for the benefit of everyone who lives, works, shops, and spends time in the borough. The Council is now looking for a cutting-edge architect to design and deliver this major regeneration project.

The Council will shortlist five of the best design teams over the next few weeks and announce the successful candidate in September. The appointed team will the work closely with the local community to create a town park that will help attract more visitors to the town centre and contain a range of high quality facilities that everyone can enjoy. The new park and performance space will be open to the public by the end of August 2013.

The Council secured funding for the project through the Mayor’s Outer London Fund which will be used to transform Harrow town centre into a retail and cultural destination to match any London Borough. The Lowlands scheme is one of several interrelated projects to improve the network of public spaces in and around Harrow town centre over the next 15 years. Although unique in their individual nature and character, each project will improve and enhance the look and feel of the borough.

Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economic Development, Cllr Keith Ferry, said: “This area is at the economic heart of the borough and it is essential for the prosperity of the borough as a whole that the town centre thrives. We are looking for a bright, energetic design-led team that has flair and imagination to make a truly special project that is responsive to context yet bold enough to change perceptions of Lowlands Recreation Ground and the town centre. The project will be high quality but will need to be intelligently and swiftly developed. It will require a team that can demonstrate professional and technical expertise alongside a strong design ethos and a commitment to engaging the community.”

The plans are part of Harrow Council’s broader project the ‘Heart of Harrow’ which will deliver the council’s vision for major regeneration over the next 15 years and beyond. Harrow Council has created a masterplan which maps out the future growth and development of Harrow and Wealdstone town centres. Our masterplan will guide the way Wealdstone, Station Road, and Harrow Town Centre change over the next few decades.

The Harrow and Wealdstone Area Action Plan (AAP) is the blueprint for the ‘Heart of Harrow’ and prioritises areas for regeneration that will boost the local economy. The plans include the borough’s two town centres in Harrow and Wealdstone, Station Road – which links them both, and the industrial land and open spaces surrounding Wealdstone, including the Kodak site, Headstone Manor, and Harrow Leisure Centre.

This area is at the economic heart of the borough and is essential for the prosperity of the whole of Harrow. Its future matters to everyone who lives here. The masterplan aims to bring millions of pounds of new investment into the area, including new businesses, creating 3,000 jobs, building 2,800 new homes and delivering the infrastructure needed from parks, transport and leisure to health and schools. None of these would be possible without the commercial development to fund them.

Through the careful planning of major developments fresh investment will be brought into the borough which is estimated to be worth approximately £400m. The Heart of Harrow forms part of the Council’s ‘Harrow Core Strategy’ and the London Plan as an ‘intensification’ area for major economic growth. The area will see a huge amount of change which will improve the standing of Harrow and Wealdstone with other town centres across London. It will increase employment opportunities created by retail and hotel development.

This is an opportunity to help create a place that encourages people to visit, shop, work, study and live. The Area Action Plan (AAP) will ensure that this ambitious large-scale regeneration project is guided by the aspirations that the local community and the council share for the borough. It is vital in helping residents understand and see the benefits change will bring to the community and local businesses. The plan is not just about bringing about change in terms of development and growth, it’s also about regeneration and the realisation of the social benefits and improvements that new development can help deliver to the overall quality of the borough.

For the Conservatives, shadow Planning and Regeneration portfolio holder Cllr. Stephen Greek said: “This is another example of how Boris Johnson’s Outer London Fund is transforming Harrow for the better, as the bulk of the funding for this project is coming from a nearly £1.8 million allocation the Council received in January.

This is an exciting development that will transform Harrow for the better, and I’m sure residents will welcome both the investment from the Mayor of London and the improvements it will bring.”

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