Wednesday 4 December 2019

What has Brent got to offer tourists?

Old St Andrew's Church, Kingsbury, Brent's only Grade 1 listed building - not on the tourist list
As part of its Inclusive Growth and Regeneration Strategy Brent Council is looking at what would attract tourists to the area. A report going to Scrutiny tonight seeks to go beyond Wembley Park, aound the Stadium and Arena which has many hotels to look more widely at the borough.

People will have their own ideas but it terms of heritage I would includes Old St Andrew's Church in Kingsbury, dating from the 12th century and incorporating Roman brick from an earlier villa and much more recent mural at the Bobby Moore Bridge have been left off - presumably because the Council has covered most of it with advertising! Classifying Boxpark as a market seems a bit odd

This is the list (unedited):

Event destinations: 

o   -  Wembley Stadium

o   -  Wembley Arena 

Arts, culture and heritage: 

·       -  The Kiln Theatre, Kilburn

·       -  Troubadour Theatre (meanwhile), Wembley Park

·       -  Lexi Cinema

·       -  Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden

·       -  Shri Vallabh Nidhi Mandir, Ealing Road

·       -  Shree Swaminarayan Mandir temple, Kingsbury

·       -  Brent Museum and Archive, Willesden

·       -  Gaumont State, Kilburn

·       -  Churchill’s Bunker, Neasden

·       -  Metro Land (Brent contains some of the best Holden Stations)

·       -  Blue Plaques

·       -  Public art – murals and street art (e.g. Kilburn, Willesden, Church End,    Ealing Road)

·       -  It should also be noted that heritage and culture can be seen in Brent’s town centres through the food, drink, music, and clothing. To name a few; Harlesden Town Centre’s Caribbean, Brazilian, Polish and Somali influences, amongst many others; Ealing Road’s South Asian; and Kilburn’s Irish heritage. 
          Pubs and clubs 
o   -  Ace Café

o   -  Paradise Pub for club scene

o   -  Windermere is best statutory listed 1930s pub

o   -  Emerging night time economy in Kilburn

Parks and open space: 
o   -  Fryent Park

o   -  Gladstone Park

o   -  Welsh Harp Reservoir

o   -  Roundwood Park

o   -  Barham Park

o   -  Kind Edwards Park 

·       -    Ealing Road

·       -    LDO (including Cineworld)


·       -  Church End

·       -  Kilburn

·       -  Queens Park Farmer’s Market

·       -  BOXPARK 

            Brent Town Centres

·       a)  Ealing Road and Kingsbury – destinations for South Asian food, clothing and jewellery.

·       b)  Harlesden – global array of music, cuisine and clothing, with prominence of Caribbean, Brazilian, Polish and Somali in particular.

·       c)  Kilburn – night-time economy offer, including pubs and restaurants, with The Kiln as the cultural anchor. Also the night tube at Kilburn station and great connectivity across 4 stations in total

·       d)  Willesden – food and drink offer (highlighted in the recent nomination for the Great British High Street ‘rising star’ award. 

The report notes the Joint Events Committee in Wembley Park and continues:
In addition, the council also deploys its own operational teams to manage the impact of each event on the local neighbourhood. This includes traffic management, enforcement of event day parking restrictions, street cleaning before, during and after each event, CCTV support, and other enforcement around licensing and trading standards. A new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is proposed to extend enforcement powers to control other anti-social behaviour such as ticket-touting, littering and street urination. The council is also a committed partner in a programme to make the Wembley zone a ‘best in class’ sporting venue. This includes delivering on proposals to upgrade road signage, wayfinding and toilets and improvements to the public realm, better coordinated communications and a comprehensive network of crowd security measures including ‘hostile vehicle mitigation’ installations.
The report reviews public toilet provision in the area and concludes that there is sufficient - something that is likely to be disputed by many locals.

Further footfall is not likely to be welcomed by the residents of Pinnacle Tower who were unable to access or exit their properties during the recent NFL events. There had been an unauthorised 2 hour closure of Fulton Road but nonetheless Brent Council told the property manager that such difficulties were inevitable on such a site as a result of event day increases in pedestrian and vehicular traffic.


Pete Firmin said...

The Tin Tabernacle or "corrugated iron church" in Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn should be on anybody's list. From Wikipedia "this was built by James Bailey in 1863, and used for worship until the 1920s, when it was used by sea cadets. In 2010 there was a campaign to repair and restore it. It is a Grade II listed building."

Jaine Lunn said...

Interestingly, they miss out Wembley High Road, which 40 years ago was Brent's "Jewel in the Crown" for a shopping experience. Sadly now the only things it can boast is the most Chicken Shops, Bookmakers, Pawn shops and numerous Malls selling all manner of tat.

Philip Grant said...

Whoever is responsible for tourism at the Civic Centre doesn't seem to know much about what Brent has to offer on the Heritage front!

As well as St Andrew's Old Church, the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals and the Tin Tabernacle, what about Roe Green Village and its WW1 aircraft industry links, Stag Lane's Amy Johnson connections, Kingsbury Manor and John Logie Baird's early TV experiments, and Ernest Trobridge's thatched cottages and castle blocks of flats (to name just a few from my own corner of the borough)?

Residents and visitors will have the chance to find out more about Trobridge and his work through a small exhibition at Kingsbury Library (from February to July 2020, as part of LBOC), with self-guided walk sheets to help them discover some of his designs which can still be enjoyed today.

There is so much more that Brent could do, at little extra cost, to promote wider interest in local attractions such as these, if only it would reach out and work with residents and community groups!