Initiatives

The site is unique in character and position, from its contemplative canalside location and use of the towpath as cycling and walking routes; the creative energy from its relationship to the film and TV worlds, its industrial heritage of wharfs, warehousing and hostelries and hinterland of orchards and strawberry fields.

Its mix of residents and businesses provide further rich context. With some simple interventions Brentford High Street and environs could be enhanced quite dramatically over the next few years.

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Finding Brentford High Street

Context Firstly we think it is important to define where the High Street of Brentford begins and ends. Evidence of this lack of clarity is shown recently when a resident of Brentford was asked for directions to Brentford High Street while on the High Street!

Idea We propose that in gateway locations, Legible London signage can be used to indicate routes to the waterside, High Street and the Great West Road.

Finding the High Street

Visible Cycle Culture

Context The area of Brentford is at the heart of a diverse cycle community used by both commuter and pleasure cyclists. We propose to expand beyond the towpath and the cycle super highway that will run along the high street to create a Cycle Hub – a network of cycle routes to highlight and provide shortened, more pleasant journeys.

Using convenient cut-through and quieter routes around the village centre will make a big difference to the quality of the cycling experience.

Idea A clearly sign-posted network of cycle routes connecting the Great West Road and Brentford High Street. This network will not just focus on the towpath as a connecting route but also promote on road routes throughout Brentford. A Cycle Hub on the High Street – repairs, café, workshop, training will make this cycle culture visible at the heart of the high street.

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History of Market Gardens in the ‘Heart of the High Street’

Context Brentford has a rich history as a market village where produce grown in the surrounding areas was sold at the market. There is a strong sense that this optimistic past is returning to Brentford where, in addition to local allotments, Cultivate London are growing produce on many vacant lots within walking distance of the High Street. On the High Street, there is evidence of passionate local growers who are using the raised beds to grow!

Idea We propose that Cultivate London’s presence and other growing initiatives can be expanded along the towpath, and into other vacant or under-used land north and south of the High Street.

 

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Visible Water in the High Street

Context Brentford is characterised by water. However, this link is not felt on Brentford High Street where there is little sense of the proximity to the canalside and no legibility or signage from the residential or retail areas to the Lock. The proposals focus on enhancing this link to give residents, business and visitors a new way to locate, navigate and understand the local area.

Idea A small water fountain and willow tree in the Market Place will act as a reminder of Brentford’s heritage of water.

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Lighting

Context The route along the towpath linking Brentford High Street is very uninviting at night.

Idea Because the Golden Mile is so brightly lit, the
towpath seems very dark. We propose to light the tow path under the Great West Rd and give the sheds a warm glow at night.

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