Economy & Employment
Being a major shopping area with some of London’s most exclusive stores, retail is a large contributor to Kensington’s economy.
Three minutes’ walk from the development is Olympia London, an exhibition centre founded in 1886, for international trade shows, conferences and consumer events.
The borough of Kensington and Chelsea is home to around 18,000 businesses, employing around 120,000 people. The development’s local area is home to several major employers. These include:
- The Daily Mail and General Trust, which has its HQs in the Northcliffe House in Kensington, some 16 minutes from the development. In 2014 the company had 9,600 employees, a revenue of £1.86 billion, and operated in over 40 countries through its subsidiaries
- Harrods HQ, which is located around seven minutes’ walk from the development. Harrods had a total of 12,000 employees in 2013, and made revenues of £760m in 2015
- Sonangol Limited, a subsidiary of the Sonangol Group, dealing in the oil and gas industry, which has its head office in Merevale House in Kensington
The Notting Hill Carnival is a large contributor to the economy in Kensington. The festival is visited by around 1.5 million visitors per year, and provides the equivalent of 3,000 full-time jobs and contributes up to £93m a year to the city’s economy, according to a study by the GLA in 2004.
Due to its numerous parks, museums and attraction, Kensington is a popular tourist spot, with non-residents visitors contributing around £3bn to the local economy every year. Around half of this is in-shop spend, which can be attributed to the borough’s wonderful shopping offering, including Portobello Road, Knightsbridge and the King’s Road.
The £200 million Wornington Green project is currently underway in Westbourne Park. Phase 2 of the project is set to start in early 2017. The work is estimated to complete around 2022, and will deliver an estimated 1,000 new homes, including social and affordable housing, as well as improvements to parks and public space, and new shops and businesses.
Launched in 2014, The Kensington & Chelsea Investment Project London, is financed by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and is a private investment network for growth enterprise in West London. The purpose of the venture is to increase the vitality, diversity and employment potential of the economy, pioneering productive, private and local investment.
Barlby Primary School, considered Outstanding by Ofsted, has been identified as in need for new facilities. A larger building would allow Barlby to increase its intake from 45 to 60 pupils per year from 2019. This means the school will eventually have 450 pupils in total, including 30 in the nursery.
The site has also been identified as a potential location for a new special needs school. It would be the first in the borough which would surely help local residents with special needs.
The Council is also considering regeneration plans for several other sites in the borough, including Pembroke Road (around 10 mins’ walk from the development), Trellick Tower and Edenham Way, and Treverton Estate.
Rail: The closest station to the development is Kensington (Olympia), a five minute walk from the development, serviced by the Overground and Southern Rail. The nearest underground station is West Kensington, a 12 minute walk, serviced by the Circle and District Line.
Major employment hubs are within easy reach of the development, including Earl’s Court (around 18 minutes’ walk), Waterloo (around 30 mins by tube), King’s Cross St. Pancras (around 39 mins), Bank (around 35 mins) and Baker Street (around 30 mins.)
Bus: The closest bus stop to the development is three minutes’ walk away. It’s serviced by seven bus lines, including two night buses, with destinations such as King’s Cross, Aldwych, Chalk Farm and Kensal Rise.
Road: The A4 runs close to the development connecting to the M4 through Chiswick, leading to Slough, Reading, Swindon, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea.
Air: Heathrow Airport is the closest airport to the development, around 43 minutes by bus and 36 minutes by car.
Cycle: Kensington and Chelsea Council is creating ‘Quietway’ cycle routes, signposted cycle routes, run on quieter back streets to provide for those cyclists who want to travel at a more relaxed pace. This is part of Central London Grid, funded by the Mayor's Vision for Cycling, a 10-year plan to deliver cycling improvements across London with spending set to total £913m by 2022. More than £54m of this funding will be allocated to build the grid network.
Kensington & Chelsea is home to 28 primary schools, six secondary schools, three special schools.
The boroughs superb central London location means that many of the capital’s most highly regarded private schools, colleges and universities can be reached easily by road or public transport.
Further education: Kensington and Chelsea College is a further and higher education college. It offers a range of courses from full and part-time to higher education and work-based learning and apprenticeships.
St. Charles Catholic Sixth Form College offers a range of courses for 16+ students from local schools in the surrounding area, including GCSEs, A Levels and BTECs.
Universities: English National Ballet School (Chelsea), Royal College of Art (Kensington), Royal College of Music (Kensington), Imperial College London (Kensington), Heythrop College (Kensington) and The American International University in London (Kensington) are all located in Kensington and Chelsea. Fordham University maintains a campus here through a partnership with Heythrop College.
All of London’s excellent educational facilities are within easy reach for Kensington residents thanks to its central location and great transport links.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping & Dining: Kensington and Chelsea is the place to indulge in luxury shopping. The area is home to renowned stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and the couture boutiques of Sloane Street, as well as many galleries and antique shops.
In and around the borough you will also find some of London’s most fashionable restaurants and bars, located around Brompton Cross, the King’s Road and Fulham Road.
Many of the nearby parks offer dining venues with scenic views in the heart of London.
Culture: Kensington & Chelsea is home to some of the most popular tourist destinations in London, including Museum Way, which houses the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Though technically not a part of the borough, Royal Albert Hall is located around the corner from Museum Way.
The borough is also home to a number of other cultural venues, including:
- Electric Cinema – opened in 1910 and is one of the oldest cinemas in the country. It shows a mixture of of arthouse, mainstream and classic films
- Cadogan Hall – concert venue hosting around 300 shows per year. It's the home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the venue of choice for the BBC Proms Chamber Music Series
- The Saatchi Gallery – a gallery for contemporary art opened in 1985
All of London's other cultural offerings are right on Kensington & Chelsea's doorstep thanks to its fantastic location and transport links.
Green Spaces: Originally a fishing village, Chelsea is nestled on the River Thames and this development is conveniently located to plenty of green space. Holland Park is located around 11 minutes’ walk from the development. This 22 hectare park is part semi-wild woodland, and home to Holland House. Built in 1605, the Grade I house was largely destroyed in the Blitz in 1940, and today only the east wing and some ruins of the ground floor remain. The park is also home to the Opera Holland Park, which offers open-air opera performances.
Kensington Gardens, home to Kensington Palace, is a 22 minute walk. Kensington Palace has been an official residence for the Royal Family since the 17th Century, and is currently the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. The gardens cover an area of 111 hectares and connects to Hyde Park. Together, the two parks cover a larger area than Monaco.
Hyde Park, one of the Royal Parks, is one of the largest in London and perhaps the capital’s most famous. The 142 hectare park is home to Speaker’s Corner and several memorial monuments, including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, and the Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial.
The park is also a popular concert venue and has hosted singers such as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and festivals such as Barclaycard presents British Summer Time.
Since 2007, Hyde Park has been host to Winter Wonderland. Running from November to January, it offers several festive markets, over 100 rides and attractions as well as bars and restaurants. Since its opening, it has attracted over 14 million visitors.