Westbourne Forum have been working on a project to improve the Westbourne shopping parade on Harrow Road for over a year, and on Thursday 8th December we celebrated the end of the project with coffee and croissants at the Blue Nile Bakery.
For years, residents had been saying the parade looked tatty. Then. despite a strong local campaign, national cuts forced the closure of the post office. Westminster Council pledged £60,000 for measures to help the shopping parade, and asked Westbourne Forum to work with the shopkeepers to deliver the scheme.
A common design for 22 new shop signs, plus a new colour scheme, has given the parade more identity, whilst keeping the character of the different shops. The shopkeepers were also offered expert advice on how to improve sales. Helen Kay and Sheba Begum from Westbourne Forum have worked closely to support the shopkeepers throughout. On top of this we helped get agreement to sort out the old pavement – the Council then took the lead, with funding from Transport for London.
Shamseldin Mahmoud from the Blue Nile says ‘it’s made the parade more presentable and it feels a more professional environment for my business. Helen and Sheba from the Forum have been great, listening to us and respecting our ideas’.
Our thanks go to the support of the stakeholders and of course all the shopkeepers whose cooperation and enthusiasm made the project such a success!