Wembley Park Redevelopment Brings Economic Opportunity To Brent
Tens of thousands of people euphorically fill Wembley on the day of a big match, and soon they hopefully will come much more often. Wembley Stadium, the northwest London neighbourhood’s crown jewel, is the largest football stadium in England, and the second largest in Europe. For many years, Wembley was nothing more than a destination for concerts and sporting events, but all that is changing under a close partnership between Brent Council and Quintain, undertaking one of the U.K.’s most ambitious transformations.
Across Brent, 33% of households live under the poverty line and 32% of employees earn less than the living wage. But this public-private partnership could change that.
Brent Council has partnered with developers to close this income gap and better integrate communities for positive change in the area. The local authority is working with leading U.K. developer Quintain to build an 85-acre mixed-use development around the stadium, offering everything from retail space and offices to community facilities, public realm and more than 5,000 build-to-rent homes. Key to the regeneration of the Wembley Park area is the focus on bringing residents of Brent together and creating economic opportunities for the local community.
“We see this development as a community-led project,” Quintain CEO Angus Dodd said. “We want all London residents from all walks of life to be welcome here.”
The developers of Wembley Park don’t want to change the community, but they want to help it evolve. Brent is one of London’s most diverse communities, and the hope is this development will build on that diversity. One-third of the apartments at Wembley Park will be affordable, and the site is located near public transportation, providing accessibility to those living, working and visiting the area.
At the core of Quintain's commitment to community development is the Yellow Pavilion, Wembley Park’s community centre. The centre provides year-round opportunities for members of the community to socialise, take a fitness class or learn new skills. Yellow Pavilion hosts events like nutrition and cooking classes, book swaps, urban gardening and open mic nights. The centre conducts outreach and surveys to better understand specific community needs. Yellow Pavilion also hosts financial literacy workshops, IT classes and ESOL classes, and conducts employment support programmes to help community residents develop career skills.
Quintain and Brent Council are also working together to drive job growth and opportunity for local residents. For example, 40% of contractors working on the Wembley Park development are from the local area. The Wembley Park Community Fund provides grants to charities in nearby neighbourhoods and supports community training programs across Brent. Wembley Park also hires local workers to fill positions like cleaning, security, store management and construction. To support the construction phase of the development, Quintain recently introduced an apprenticeship program that provides opportunities for members of the community to gain work experience and access to employment. There are 130 apprentices currently working on-site.
“We are striving for Wembley Park to become integrated into the rest of the Brent community,” Dodd said. “We are trying to help solve larger problems by introducing affordable solutions and community training initiatives, as well as hosting events and contributing to the community spirit, which has helped make Brent London’s first Borough of Culture for 2020. We still have a long way to go, but I am confident that Wembley Park will become a leading force in community development, for the U.K. and the world."
This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and Quintain. Bisnow editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.