There was a time when a trip to Wembley meant one of two things – footy or a Foo Fighters gig. Fast forward to 2019 and the whole area has been transformed into a hub of culture, food and a whole lot more…
Over the past few years, Wembley Park has been steadily undergoing a transformation from a spot you might occasionally head to watch a cup final, to a shiny new cultural and residential hub.
The redevelopment is part of a £3 billion project by property giant Quintain, which began as an idea in 2004 when the company was given original planning permission for the land around the stadium.
But the growth of the area has really come into its own in recent years with hundreds of new homes, a £26 million refurbishment of Wembley Arena and a £10 million new public square. That’s not to mention the brand new Boxpark, which opened at the end of 2018, and Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, which will open its doors this summer.
So what exactly can you expect from this slice of north west London?
The developers wanted to make Wembley Park as culturally vibrant as possible, introducing Second Floor Art Studios, a collection of affordable studios for visual and digital artists right in the centre of the development, and its new community space, The Yellow, which offers affordable classes for locals of all ages.
The Yellow has two classrooms and a big upstairs rehearsal space, which in a time when arts funding is limited and local provisions shrinking, is a real boon for the community, offering classes like open dance training, cooking classes and yoga, as well as being the base of the Brent Youth Theatre.
Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, set to open this summer, will be the first new theatre to open in Brent in 39 years. It is situated in the old Fountain Studios, where The X Factor was filmed, and has been completely rebuilt to offer a 2,000 seat flexible space for theatre shows.
Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, set to open this summer, will be the first new theatre to open in Brent in 39 years
The site has been developed by the team behind the pop-up King’s Cross Theatre in 2016, and the joint founders of Troubadour Theatres Oliver Royds and Tristan Baker are extremely excited to be involved in this new venture.
‘Wembley Park is currently in the heart of one of Europe’s largest regeneration areas and we delighted to be creating a brand new theatre during this exciting time,’ Baker tells me. ‘We hope productions at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre will add to Brent’s busy arts scene as well as pull in audiences from across the capital.
‘These spaces offer a flexible, dynamic and exciting performance space,’ Baker continues. ‘We see theatre audiences increasing year on year and we are excited to break the mould of traditional theatres and bring new innovative spaces to audiences.’
After taking a sneak peek at the redeveloped space, it’s clear that the theatre’s potential is huge – and the news that it will be welcoming the National Theatre production of War Horse in Autumn shows it set to become a firm part of the London theatre circle.
FOOD AND DRINK
Boxpark Wembley opened up in December last year as the third iteration of the massively popular shipping containers market. The new spot has 20 street food vendors, two bars and a games area upstairs, as well as being the first fully enclosed Boxpark for founder Roger Wade.
‘I think a big question is why not Wembley Park?,’ Wade says when I ask him why they decided to open in the area. ‘There are nearly 50 major events a year at the stadium and we wanted to create an immersive environment for people attending those events, as well as the events at Boxpark Wembley.
I think a big question is why not Wembley Park? There are nearly 50 major events a year at the stadium and we wanted to create an immersive environment for people attending those events
‘Our aim is to create the ultimate eating, drinking and dining experience, somewhere that people can not only eat and drink, but also have the perfect night out,’ Wade adds.
There’s little doubt of it achieving just that with a whole programme of events on the horizon including film nights in its main hall, as well as games like glow-in-the-dark table tennis and shuffleboard in the upstairs bar.
Not even mentioning the great food. Get yourself some souvlaki from Greek street food kings The Athenian with a side of halloumi fries sent from the heavens, or try out Zia Lucia’s delicious Napoli with anchovies and capers with a cold beer.
If you fancy something different, there’s also a host of restaurants at the London Designer Outlet, which is also very handily just a five minute walk away. The collection of over 70 shops, restaurants and a cinema upstairs are all part of the semi-outdoors shopping centre.
For those of us who love a good bargain (and really who doesn’t?), all the shops are at outlet prices meaning big discounts of places like Nike, Levi’s, Hamley’s, Tempur and, I’m told, a whopping 70% off of Haribo.
And if it’s homeware on your shopping list, don’t forget that Wembley is one of the few lucky London spots to house an Ikea (complete with a crèche), so you can stock up on tealights or furnish your brand new flat (see below) from top to bottom.
The property market
Along with the new cultural and leisure spaces, new homes are very much at the heart of the development. High rise towers house a selection of one, two and three bedroom apartments, many of which come with communal rooftop gardens and spaces on the ground floor for freelance workers to take advantage of.
But what’s most interesting about the new builds is that they’ve been designed exclusively for renting, so they come with built-in WiFi, utility bills included and an onsite gym included in the rent, 24-hour concierge and flexible tenancies. To save space on bins there’s even – in an extraordinarily futuristic twist – a communal chute that takes your rubbish straight to landfill through underground pipes – yes, really!
The new homes have been designed exclusively for renting, so they come with built-in WiFi and utility bills included
The clever homes have been created by Tipi, which is leading the ‘Rental Rebellion’ in London, creating all-in packages for Londoners who just want to move in and get on with it. There are three buildings currently on the market with Tipi at Wembley Park – Landsby, Montana & Dakota, and Alto – with apartments starting from £1,785 per month for a one-bed.
For those who prefer their homes a little more bedded in – take a look at this four bedroom detached home with large garden in the desirable Greenhill are of Wembley, on the market for offers in excess of £1,200,000.
The growth doesn’t look set to stop any time soon, with new rental buildings already in development and businesses constantly moving in. And given that it’s anticipated that 20,000 people will call Wembley Park home by 2027, you’d do well to consider moving to Wembley now.
Find out more at wembleypark.com