Property Investment Guide – Brent

A colourful cosmopolitan borough with iconic significance

Only minutes from central London, Brent is a diverse, dynamic and surprising London borough. Whether it is temples or tandooris, haute couture or haute cuisine, football or festivals, parks or canals, Brent has a vast variety to offer all of its visitors. With the iconic illuminated arch of the new Wembley Stadium dominating and dramatically changing the west London skyline, Brent is on the map as the place to really experience multicultural London. This colourful, dynamic and cosmopolitan borough is a popular location for big business, sports, entertainment, tourism and filmmaking.

The little Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise is an uplifting experience and not just because it’s a great place to catch a recent release with a fantastic bar at the back. All the profits from this social enterprise go to support the Sustainability Institute eco-village in South Africa.

The Paradise by Way of Kensal Green is a gastropub with a difference, hosting an exciting roster of music and comedy events, with a side of excellent cuisine. Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market on Sundays at Salusbury Primary School is an excellent place to stock up on great fresh produce. Brent offers a great diversity of living, eating, socialising and shopping with plenty for every culture and taste so makes for a highly tenantable buy-to-let purchase. Property investors should buy before the super-hub project causes property prices to rise significantly. That means Brent property investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for a London zone 3,4,5 property.

Economy & Employment

Brent’s economy is diverse, from major attractions of Wembley Stadium The SSE Arena to Brent Cross’s retail offerings.

Wembley is also an industrial and commercial hub. Business space includes warehouse outlets, offices and Fountain Studios, the UK’s largest fully equipped television studio. At Brent Park, further south on the A406 North Circular Road, there is an Ikea, large Tesco, as well as other stores and industrial units. The main shopping area is centred on Wembley High Road, Central Square, which is also undergoing redevelopment and Ealing Road.

There is also an open-air market, held most Sundays, in the car park in front of Wembley Stadium, continuing a long tradition. Brent council plans to offer as much as £5,000 off rates for the biggest employers signing up to the voluntary pay rate, which is a project to increase the living wage rate within the borough. The aim is to get more people on the living wage of £9.15 per hour in London compared to £6.50 nationally.

Investment

The Old Oak Common super-hub will add as much as £5.6 billion to London’s economy.

The planned new rail-hub for Crossrail and HS2 at the 155 hectare Old Oak Common site will have a huge impact on Brent. It is expected to add around £5.6 billion to London’s economy. It will be able to handle 250,000 people per day on completion, as well as creating 55,000 jobs.  Wembley is also undergoing major redevelopment. Wembley City, which includes a new Civic Centre for the borough, has been completed on the junction of Engineers Way and Empire Way near the stadium. The first phase, including the creation of 85 homes and reconstruction of the plaza, has been completed along with a designer outlet with restaurants and cinema.

Harlesden town centre is set for a £4 million investment over the next 15 years to bring it into line with the rest of the borough. Kilburn is reviving green spaces, community facilities and schools. Brent River Park is concentrating on regenerating a two-kilometre stretch of the river and its surrounding land.

Transport

Air: Brent is superbly placed for Heathrow Airport with journeys taking around 30 minutes by car,

Underground: The borough is excellently served by the tube with Alperton, Dollis Hill, Neasden, Kingsbury, Willesden Green and Kilburn on the Jubilee line; Kilburn Park and Stonebridge Park on the Bakerloo line; and Wembley Park, Preston Road and Northwick Park on the Metropolitan line.

Rail: Overground Stations Harlesden, Kensal Green, Kenton, North Wembley, Queen’s Park, South Kenton, Stonebridge Park, Sudbury & Harrow Road, Wembley Central, Wembley Stadium and Willesden Junction all service the borough too.

Bus: There is an excellent bus service to central London and surrounding areas with many routes running through the night.

Education

The borough of Brent is home to 56 primary schools, 14 secondary schools and 3 independent schools.

Notable institutions include:

Chalkhill Primary School, where 100% of pupils making expected progress in core subjects & 93% achieving level 4 or above.

Islamia School for Girls’ where 100% of pupils achieve grade A*-C in English and Maths GCSEs.

Further Education: The College of North West London offers a wide range of full-time and part-time courses, from beginner level to degree level. It caters for 10,500 students aged 14 and above who study at two campuses in the borough, sited in Willesden and Wembley Park.

Higher Education: The College of North West London also runs a number of higher education qualifications for those looking to progress further in their learning. Brent also has excellent links to all the world-class universities on offer in the capital such as University College London and London School of Economics.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping & Dining: The first Ikea in the south of the UK opened in Wembley and now the largest Tesco in England is located here too. There is also the opportunity to pick up the local fashion at TK Maxx, Primark and Claire’s Accessories on the high road, mixing alongside bespoke shops selling goods from saris to authentic Polish groceries.

Understandably with the Stadium, Arena and Fountain Studios situated in the heart of Wembley, there are plenty of eateries at hand to feed the visiting crowds.

Sport & Culture: Brent Council has three sports and leisure centres. You do not have to be a member to visit, have a swim or take part in a class but can join in on a casual basis.

Green Spaces: Brent has more than 1,000 acres of public open space, including Fryent Country Park and the Welsh Harp reservoir which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Reservoir provides valuable habitat for wildlife and an attractive recreational centre. There are also formal Victorian parks such as Queens Park, Gladstone Park and Roundwood Park.

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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