Hammersmith & Fulham council leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, and Ark chief executive, Lucy Heller, have hailed the £150m, not-for-profit regeneration of the EdCity site as “an exciting moment for the White City community and beyond”.
The two joined forces on Tuesday 8 March to mark the start of work to construct the new community facilities on the site, including a new Ark primary school, youth zone, affordable homes and office accommodation.
The EdCity regeneration scheme is being delivered by EdCity Development Ltd (ECDL) and funded by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Ark, which runs nine schools in West London.
The scheme will bring significant improvements to the neighbourhood and include:
- a new, modern building for a new school, Ark White City Primary Academy, bringing together Ark Swift Primary Academy and Ark Burlington Danes primary schools;
- 132 new affordable homes in an area of high housing need;
- a state-of-the art OnSide Youth Zone called WEST, providing activities and opportunities for local young people;
- a new building for Harmony Nursery;
- an expanded adult education and community learning centre providing training and learning opportunities for local residents;
- a new 100,000sq ft office space for up to 1,000 jobs and a new permanent home for Ark and other organisations and businesses;
- a new landscaped public square with a pedestrian and cycle route, directly linking existing residential areas to the redeveloped White City business and transport hubs.
Work to clear and prepare the White City site began in summer last year, and construction work is being carried out by Bowmer & Kirkland. The completion of the first phase, including the opening of the new school, is due in September 2023.
Ark CEO Lucy Heller said:
“This exciting not-for-profit development will bring significant benefits and facilities to White City and beyond, and we are delighted that the works to create them are now underway. We have a long relationship with the local community and are looking forward to the opening of the new Ark primary school next year bringing together Ark Swift and Ark Burlington Danes.
“The wider project will deliver an innovative new education hub to the neighbourhood, with Ark moving its national headquarters to the new office building alongside other businesses and organisations. With more than 100 new affordable homes, nursery and youth zone, EdCity promises to be a great place to work, learn, live and play.”
H&F Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan said:
“This project will deliver, for people of all ages in White City, the very best in education and training – to give them access to the most amazing business start-up and rapidly emerging hotspot for STEM, medicine, and media enterprises.
"This project brings tangible benefits to the local community, with a new school and nursery, a youth zone and improved adult education services. There will be new, affordable homes for local people, improvements to public areas and jobs will be relocated here.
“That is why we made a multi-million-pound investment, and I am delighted the work here is now under way.”
The OnSide Youth Zone, named WEST (Where Everyone Sticks Together) by local young people, will offer a range of after-school, weekend and evening activities and opportunities for the local community aged between eight and 19, including those aged up to 25 with a disability.
The OnSide team spoke to guests visiting the site for the first time and heard more about what WEST will offer young people and the wider community.
Mark Davies, Chair of WEST Youth Zone, said:
“We were delighted to welcome our wonderful supporters to the site and to see the great progress being made. EdCity is such an exciting project and we are really proud to be a part of it. WEST will transform the lives of thousands of young people, giving them an opportunity to find new skills, make new friends and seek support from dedicated youth workers.”
EdCity is a fantastic addition to the White City Innovation District and was recently recognised in Upstream’s Impact and Innovation 110 organisations. This prestigious list highlights science, technology, and creative businesses such as Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, BBC Studios, The Royal College of Art, and Novartis UK., all organisations local to Hammersmith and Fulham who are making a positive impact in their field.