About Making the Connection

‘Making the Connection’ is an exciting project happening in your town, Brentford. It is funded by the Mayor’s Outer London Fund, London Borough of Hounslow and local stakeholders.

Its objective is to create a well-used, legible and stimulating route for walkers and cyclists along the Grand Union Canal between Great West Road and Brentford High Street brought to life through public realm, landscape, art and lighting improvements and cultural events, all of which will increase footfall and spend in Brentford Town Centre. There will be a focus on key spaces like Market Place on the High Street and the canal-side sheds north of the town centre.

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Brentford High Street is of key importance to the regeneration of the town, which has developed since Roman times from its location on the route between the capital and the west of England. The High Street provided a ford over the Thames and a crossing over the Brent, but has now been by passed by the M4 and the Great West Road (Golden Mile); this road being a notable location for major international corporate businesses, with a joint workforce of 8000.

Brentford is estimated to serve over 10,000 people but connections for pedestrians to and from the town centre are not ideal. Work needs to be done to improve these connections to and from Brentford High Street, so this historic stretch can regain its former glory to attract retail investors and facilitate access for residents, visitors and workers.

This is a time of change for Brentford with two large developments planned in the town, ISIS who have started works on site next to the canal and Ballymore currently have an application in for redevelopment south of the High Street. The proposals shown in this document are managed by ISIS and the Canal and River Trust.

This project builds upon Brentford’s existing strengths; its historic waterside location, its market garden history and heritage, the Golden Mile and makes proposals to:

Make something happen now.

Kinnear Landscape Architects, The Decorators, Meanwhile Space and Simon Periton have been appointed by ISIS and London Borough of Hounslow to develop proposals after an intial period of research in the town.

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The Mayor’s Outer London Fund is an initiative dedicated to strengthening the vibrancy and growth of high streets and surrounding areas.

Timeline for the project:
Design October 2012– March 2013
Consultation December 2012 and January 2013
Construction Completion by March 2014

Public realm improvements are proposed along a 1km pedestrian and cycle route between Brentford High Street and the Great West Road, which includes a series of public spaces. Currently these spaces have little relationship to each other and are under used. Through improvement and activation of these spaces, there is potential for the presence of Brentford Town Centre to extend further north towards the Golden Mile.

This project will promote a significant art intervention on the canal-side and activation of under-used spaces with meanwhile activity.

The proposed ideas shown on the following pages link the four key locations in Brentford: the Golden Mile, Brentford High Street, the Canal, and the Sheds.


The Golden Mile

The Golden Mile is a stretch of the Great West Road north of Brentford running west from the western boundary of Chiswick in London, United Kingdom. It was so called due to the concentration of industry along this short stretch of road.

Businesses such as BSkyB, Sega Europe and JC Decaux, and the global headquarters for GlaxoSmithKline are located here with a joint workforce of 8000.

Brentford High Street has a lot to offer these workers in terms of food, pubs and entertainment but is often bypassed as the route between the locations is not easily accessible.

the-shedsThe Sheds

The historical boatyard sheds stand out as a beacon on the horizon looking north from Brentford High Street along the Grand Union canal.

Although an asset, these sheds are very dark and ‘scary’ at night which dis-encourages many walkers/cyclist from taking this route.

The proposals include ideas to enhance and light up these important historical structures so they become a pleasant part of the journey whether day or night.


The Canal

The Canal at Brentford designed by Brunel in 1885 led Brentford to become an important trading route as the point at which the Thames and the Grand Union Canal meet.

The town’s character has been shaped by its canal and riverside buildings, its active boatyards, and a variety of established residential moorings. Brentford’s waterways are one of the town’s biggest assets yet they remain to be fully celebrated and appreciated.


Brentford High Street

Brentford High Street is of key importance to the regeneration of the town, which is a main road out of London, linking the capital with the west of England from Roman times. The High Street provided a ford over the Thames and a crossing over the Brent, but has now been bypassed resulting in less congestion and thus a more pedestrian friendly environment. Brentford is one of West London’s most historic shopping
centres, today offering a diverse range of independent retailers, pubs and restaurants, museums and Watermans Arts Centre.