Eager passengers braved a chilly December morning today to be the first to arrive at Brent Cross West, the first new mainline station to be built in London in over a decade.
The impressive new Thameslink station in North London can be found between Cricklewood and Hendon stations on the Midland Main Line and is the gateway to new neighbourhood Brent Cross Town.
The major milestone marks years of hard work by teams led by Barnet Council which is one of the first local authorities in England to deliver a rail infrastructure project.
As well as connecting central London to Brent Cross in as little as 12 minutes, a key feature of the station includes a new, public overbridge, which provides the first pedestrian access across this stretch of the Midland Main Line since it was first built in the 19th century.
Leader of Barnet Council, Barry Rawlings, said: “The opening of Brent Cross West marks the end of a significant journey for Barnet Council and our partners and is a huge achievement. For existing communities, it provides new ways to get around the area and more sustainable travel options, while also unlocking the opportunity to bring much needed homes and jobs to the area.”
As well as rail enthusiasts, hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the opening of Brent Cross West with Barnet Council arranging music and family-friendly activities to mark the occasion. Including some of the 100 plus Barnet residents who have been employed as part of the construction of the station.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan joined the celebrations to officially open Brent Cross West and congratulate Barnet Council and its partners of the successful delivery of the project.
He said: “Brent Cross West station, the first major new mainline station in London in over a decade, will be transformative for northwest London, better connecting Brent Cross with the rest of the capital and unlocking wider development in the area. The station will serve as a gateway to a Brent Cross Town, a brand-new neighbourhood delivering new homes, creating jobs, and aiming to be net zero by 2030.
“Investment in London and in London’s transport network is critical in driving economic recovery in both the capital and the rest of the country. That’s why I’m delighted about the opening of this new station and development, which supports my aim to continue building a better, more prosperous London for everyone.”
Barnet Council secured £419 million of government funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to allow the project to be delivered. They have been supported by Mace, who has project managed the programme. The station has been built by VolkerFitzpatrick, with Network Rail a key delivery partner.
As well as delivering the 7,000 square foot station, hundreds of metres of tracks were reconfigured, and new modern railway sidings delivered, to allow Brent Cross West to be built. Teams navigated the complexities of working on a live railway, as well as challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic, managing to find safe ways to continue to progress the project.
Mark Pavlides, Interim Chief Customer Officer for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “A huge ‘thank you’ to Barnet Council for leading the construction of this magnificent station, and to all the development partners we’ve worked with to ensure it meets the area’s needs sustainably. We’re excited and honoured to be welcoming customers here, and providing fast, frequent trains to whisk people into central London and beyond. Welcome also to everyone using the public footbridge that now connects Barnet and Brent - we’re really looking forward to becoming part of the local community.”
Jake Kelly, Regional Managing Director for Network Rail’s Eastern Region, added: “We’re thrilled to see the opening of Brent Cross West station, allowing more people to sustainably travel to and from the centre of London and beyond. We have worked closely with Barnet Council and other key stakeholders to deliver this incredible project and I believe that the finished station is something that the local community can be proud of.”
Brent Cross West is part of the biggest redevelopment and growth programme Barnet Council has ever undertaken and one of the most ambitious in Europe. It is essential to unlocking wider development in the area and has been designed as a gateway to a new neighbourhood called Brent Cross Town, a 180-acre, net zero development being delivered in partnership between Barnet Council and Related Argent.
Brent Cross Town will deliver 6,700 new homes, 3 million sq ft of offices creating space for 25,000 employees, along with a new high street.
André Gibbs, Partner of Related Argent said: “The opening of the new Brent Cross West station is a major milestone for Brent Cross Town, one of Europe’s largest new net zero neighbourhoods. There are six buildings currently under construction including close to 1,000 new homes with the first residents set to move in from the middle of 2024. The station will be a major gateway to the new business and innovation district connecting Brent Cross Town to the Knowledge Quarter in King’s Cross and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, with 5.2 million working people within a 60-minute commute. Congratulations to Barnet Council and the delivery team who have provided a key station for London’s growth.”
The station’s impressive, highly sustainable eastern entrance, The Arbour, which provide a gateway into Brent Cross Town, was co-authored by Studio Egret West and shedkm, with Studio Egret West retained to evolve the design through detail and construction stages. It includes a lofty timber canopy that covers a multi-level arrival sequence, picking up Brent Cross Town’s focus on wellbeing and access to nature by combining functionality with a planted public space. The large-scale glulam timber frame was developed to sit comfortably between, and connect to, two future office buildings.
The Arbour is also home to a giant and joyous piece of public art, Time passes & still I think of you, by celebrated Barnet-raised artist Giles Round, which covers 250 square metres of the station’s main concourse with brightly coloured vitreous enamel panels.
The station connects into Brent Cross Town’s Copper Square, a new civic space and Business and Innovation District, home to four low-carbon office buildings, including a nine-storey, mass-timber office building, designed by architects, Bennetts Associates. From it, a new high street will connect onwards, into Brent Cross Town’s residential quarter, with neighbourhood shops, restaurants and leisure amenity. Brent Cross Town is well underway with six buildings, including residential and student rooms already under construction, and will welcome its first residents in 2024.
Read more about Brent Cross West and the wider regeneration programme at transformingbx.co.uk
Images and B-roll footage of the day are available on request. A short film, Building Brent Cross West, can be accessed: https://youtu.be/BGR9pLjExfM?si=avcKWni5qkkWuHgt
For more information and media requests, please contact Tristan Garrick, Head of Content at [email protected] or Lorna Gott (BXC) Head of Communications and Engagement at [email protected]
Additional quotes from our project management partner, Mace and construction partner VolkerFitzpatrick can be used as follows:
Davendra Dabasia, COO for Mace Consult, who project managed the station programme on behalf of Barnet Council, said: “It’s not often London sees a brand-new station come to life, so this is a special moment for the city and the rail sector. And, while this fantastic station will have the immediate impact of enhancing connectivity for local people, it’s exciting for us at Mace to be at the heart of something that is sparking a much wider regeneration opportunity that will benefit Londoners but those in the South East, Midlands and the North as well. Brent Cross West Station is a testament to infrastructure’s role as a catalyst for growth.”
James Hindes, Managing Director for VolkerFitzpatrick, who were contracted to build the station, commented: We are delighted to have been part of this ambitious project, for Barnet Council. Our team has engaged locally, collecting food donations, and renovating community facilities. We are proud to have provided local employment opportunities, work experience placements and apprenticeships, over the course of the project, building a lasting legacy for generations to come.”
Further information about the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration project and Brent Cross West can be found here.
Information about the station timetable and features can be found on the Thameslink website here.
About Brent Cross Town:Brent Cross Town is the neighbourhood at the heart of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme. It is a joint venture between Related Argent and Barnet Council to develop a large-scale mixed-use development including new homes, retail and office space, as well as improved schools and greenspaces in the area. Early work started on site in early 2020. Building on the strengths of this diverse part of the city, Brent Cross Town will draw inspiration from the best of London’s long-established neighbourhoods with all their complexity and character.
At its heart, will be a focus on sport, play, health and well-being. The new neighbourhood will provide 6,700 homes, state-of-the-art workspace for over 25,000 people, and pedestrian friendly streets and squares with local shops and restaurants that will complement the offer at Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The community will be supported by first-class public transport infrastructure, a new and improved network of walking and cycle routes and a series of new parks and other amenities. www.brentcrosstown.co.uk @brentcrosstown
Related Argent is making four significant pledges for Brent Cross Town: