Makeover pulls new shops into London’s Paddington
Network Rail has seen retail sales at London’s Paddington station soar by 40% between April and June following a multimillion pound regeneration project.
The station’s £13 million Paddington Lawn upgrade, which began in July 2015, includes 16 new-and-improved retail units. Retailers present at the station now include the likes of Kiehls and Thomas Pink as well as dining outlets such as Leon.
Improvements to the Lawn, named after the former site of the station master’s garden, were delivered alongside a new open-plan ticket office.
The development is the latest stage in the Brunel-designed station’s 163-year evolution. Network Rail had to work closely with English Heritage to prepare the Grade 1 listed site for a rise in footfall whilst preserving its historic design.
Currently catering for 60 million visitors a year, the arrival of Crossrail in 2018 and the completion of nearby regeneration projects such as the Paddington Opportunity Area are expected to bring in millions more station users by the close of the decade.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail for Network Rail, said: “As footfall figures and retail sales at Network Rail managed stations continue to rise, the completion of Paddington Lawn gives commuters a new high-quality shopping experience. Convenience shopping has never been more popular, and our stations are becoming destinations in their own right due to the wide range of new retailers and food options available to commuters and visitors alike.
“Britain’s railway stations are great symbols of our industrial heritage, and regeneration projects like Paddington Lawn ensure the spaces created by Victorian visionaries remain relevant and fit-for-purpose.”
The station has also seen an upsurge in public interest following the recent Paddington movie franchise. The release of Paddington 2 this November is expected to increase the station’s profile further.
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