Stonebridge Hillside Hub is the final component of a masterplan for regenerating the Stonebridge Estate. The brief included replacing 1,775 flats in a rundown 1960s high-rise estate with mixed-tenure housing in low- or medium-rise units. Of the 1,903 new homes, 59 per cent available at affordable rents, eight per cent through shared ownership and 33 per cent for private sale – and the development is tenure blind.
Stonebridge Hillside Hub is a vital part of this regeneration. In addition to apartments, it includes commercial units, health care facilities, a café, supermarket and a popular community centre. It was designed by Edward Cullinan Architects for The Hyde Group, developers REAL, and INplace, a subsidiary of The Hyde Group
The innovative design of the Hub and its facilities was developed following extensive consultation with the Hillside Housing Trust, which was set up by The Hyde Group. The Trust’s board and local tenants’ association continue to take an active role in managing the Hub’s community activities, including the Stonebridge Training and Employment Project, public IT facilities, a children’s after-school support group and spaces available for hire by local groups and societies.
This area of the London Borough of Brent is densely populated with several older neighbourhoods and declining housing estates in need of renewal. Regeneration of the Stonebridge Estate has significantly uplifted the area - and Harlesden as a whole - with improvements to housing and community facilities, an upgrade of the street scene and creation of valuable community open space. The distinctive design and careful siting of the Hub provides a visual and physical focal point for the redeveloped estate, and wider neighbourhood.
The Hub brings together a wide range of people from the local community. Nigel Swanton, head of development at the Hyde Group, said: it is ‘strengthening community spirit and engagement in the process … the footfall greatly outperforms the original business plan’.
The strong design and distinctive appearance of the Hub also provide an important focal point for the redeveloped Stonebridge Estate and the wider neighbourhood.
The Hillside Housing Trust has an experienced economic and social regeneration team in an office onsite. Local residents and tenants’ associations are well represented on the Trust’s board and sub-groups, which have responsibility for the management of the Hub and its facilities.
Estella Magloire, chair of the Hillside Housing Trust, said: ‘All our hopes and expectations for the Hub are now beginning to be fulfilled as it becomes fully operational; it s changing the face of Stonebrodge. The local community finally has the full range of modern facilities that it deserves and has worked so hard to achieve.’