In a unanimous decision, Harrow’s councillors have approved a dynamic transformation of a part of the former Debenhams Car Park area, paving the way for a new hub aimed at startups and creatives.
The redevelopment of the Greenhill Way site, a currently underused part of the town centre, will provide a much-needed boost to local entrepreneurs and artists. The site will feature a variety of facilities, including gallery space, flexible retail units, and affordable workspace specifically designed for creatives. The hub will also include a community/event space and multiple micro gallery spaces.
As part of the plans, the Undercroft pedestrian walkway, which connects the site to Station Road, will also undergo a significant transformation. The aim is to create a lighter, brighter, cleaner, and safer pathway, enhancing accessibility and safety for both residents and visitors.
The initiative, which received strong support from council members, will revitalise a rundown section of Harrow Town Centre, previously part of the Debenhams Car Park. Over the next few months, the area will begin its transformation that promises to support startups and creatives for at least the next five years.
Cllr Norman Stevenson, Cabinet Member for Business said: “This is welcoming news. Until now this area was deteriorating and needed revitalising. We are a borough that supports local businesses and entrepreneurs and committed to keeping our borough clean and safe – this is exactly what this transformation will do. I look forward to seeing the works complete and invite local start-ups and creatives to take their business further.”
The hub’s design is notably innovative, featuring easy-to-install shipping containers for rent. Construction is set to commence soon, with the site to be secured nightly once operational. This development is funded by the Department for Levelling Up’s Future High Street Fund, a scheme aimed at rejuvenating high streets and town centres post-pandemic by improving transport links, building new homes, and transforming underutilised spaces.
Harrow Council is offering the car park site free of charge as part of the agreement. The commercial organisation responsible for managing the meanwhile space will bring expert oversight to the project.
Despite the loss of 7 of the disabled parking spaces within the 274-space car park due to the redevelopment, these will be reprovided elsewhere on the site.
At planning committee, Vice Chairman Chris Baxter said the plans were creative and innovative. “This will bring more welcome activity into this area and more people being around for legitimate reasons is likely to reduce some of the negative behaviours currently seen in this area. Improving vitality can only be a good thing.”