Hammersmith & Fulham Council has approved a proposal for a major new education and charity hub – paving the way for a scheme that will benefit thousands of children and young people for years to come in the White City area.
The EdCity development was brought forward by the education charity Ark and by Hammersmith & Fulham Council. When complete, it will provide shared office space for mission-aligned charities, as well as a primary school, a nursery, new youth facilities, an adult education centre and new affordable homes.
EdCity will create:
- A new building for Ark Swift Primary Academy, with brand new facilities including outdoor learning spaces, improved IT, sports, and performing arts facilities. Ark Swift Primary Academy is rated Good by Ofsted
- An improved Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery, nearly doubling its capacity and providing much-needed early years education in the local area. Harmony is rated Outstanding by Ofsted
- The new OnSide Youth Zone, named WEST by local young people, that will offer an array of after school, weekend and evening activities and opportunities for the local community aged between 8 and 19, including those aged up to 25 with a disability.
- An expanded and transformed adult education and community learning centre – providing training and learning opportunities for local residents
- 132 new homes, more than half of which will be genuinely affordable for local people and key workers including teachers
- A new hub for education charities, providing office and collaboration space for Ark and mission-aligned organisations
- A new boulevard and public square, providing better walking and cycling routes from the White City estate in the west to the redeveloped business district and transport hub in the east, as well as public space for the community to use
The redeveloped primary school will be completed in 2021, with EdCity fully finished in 2023. Ark and the Council are sharing the funding of the £120m project.
Lucy Heller, Chief Executive of Ark, said: “We are delighted that EdCity has been approved. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Hammersmith & Fulham Council and others to provide better opportunities for children locally, in London and beyond.”
Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, said: “We’re delighted to help deliver a hub for life-long learning and opportunities in partnership with education charities Ark and OnSide Youth Zones at their new White City home. The new EdCity will be at the heart of ‘West Tech’, our White City innovation district. It’s a crucial new addition to our Industrial Strategy, which seeks to unleash the skills, talents and aspirations of our young people.”
Mark Davies, Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Zone, said: “We are extremely excited to open West London’s first OnSide Youth Zone in White City. It will give young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.”
Ark will be the lead tenant for the new offices for charities. The office building will also contain conference facilities which will provide training for teachers and other professionals. Ark has worked in the local area for several years with four schools including Ark Swift Primary Academy. The new EdCity tenants will be encouraged to work with the local community.
Find out more about the development at www.edcity.org.uk