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The future of Regent Street, Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus public realm

How we plan to improve Regent Street, Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus and the surrounding areas.

Working with The Crown Estate, we are delighted to unveil the ‘Regent Street Public Realm Vision’, and share our ambitions for surrounding landmark areas. The vision report sets out your priorities for Regent Street from our earlier public engagement, that will help guide and shape the design of its public realm.

Westminster’s cabinet have also agreed to proceed with extending the Regent Street project to include Piccadilly Circus and Haymarket. We believe this will allow for a more holistic public realm and place-making opportunity in the heart of the West End.

The programme will now be known as ‘The Future of Regent Street, Haymarket, and Piccadilly Circus Public Realm’. This also recognises that delivery of the final public realm designs will be developed in phases. The area from All Souls Church to The Crescent being the priority for both partners.    

  • Phase 1: Regent Street from All Souls Church to The Crescent 
  • Phase 2: Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street St. James’s, Waterloo Place, Haymarket, Charles II Street, Jermyn Street East, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, and Pall Mall East.  

An ongoing partnership

We have been working with The Crown Estate to improve Regent Street for everyone. As the main landowner of its buildings, The Crown Estate is the custodian of Regent Street. This covers the area from All Souls Church to Waterloo Place, and has significant ownership on Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus. The council are the highways authority, responsible for the management of the West End’s public realm and streets.

Regent Street public realm vision

This much celebrated, and iconic street was first designed over 200 years ago by the famous architect John Nash to connect Regents Park and St. James’s Park.  A century later, buildings along the street were enhanced to reflect the Regent Street we know today. The passing of another 100-year cycle brings an opportunity to revitalise Regent Street further so it remains fit for purpose for the next 100 years.

Our shared ambition is to design and deliver a public realm project that connects St. James’s Park to Regent’s Park, to bring forwards a new green and active travel link through the heart of the West End. This would emphasise and reimagine celebrated architect John Nash’s original design intent for a ‘park to park’ connection and enable a variety of flourishing activities along its route.

The Regent Street Public Realm Vision report, below, has been informed by an extensive programme of engagement with the public during the summer and autumn 2023. It brings together the outcomes of this engagement and outlines the collective priorities that are important to those who live, work, and visit Regent Street. It also details case studies and learnings from other global cities where streets that are comparable to Regent Street have had significant positive changes successfully introduced.

The engagement results highlighted that as one of the world’s most famous streets Regent Street must explore new opportunities to adapt to our changing climate and evolving city trends through innovative ways of designing the public realm.   As we embark on this ambitious design process, the new vision for the future of Regent Street’s public realm will guide us at every step of the way.

Read the Public Realm Vision Report and Appendix to find out more:

Document
Regent Street Public Realm Vision Report

Engagement

Between July and October 2023, we listened to residents, local workers, domestic and international visitors, as well as other key stakeholders. We wanted to learn what they liked and disliked about Regent Street, and their priorities for its future public realm design. This process allowed us to understand the multitude of views about Regent Street, what matters to people and why. 

3,500 people had their say, with three themes emerging as the most important. These were:

  • prioritising pedestrian experience
  • preserving heritage
  • introducing nature and greening.

Extending our focus to Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus

The Crown Estate has also been engaging with local stakeholders to assess the public realm opportunities for Haymarket, Charles II Street, and Jermyn Street East as part of their confirmed development and investment programme for these streets. Their ambitions and those of local stakeholders for this part of the West End are aligned with the Council’s City Plan policy. Westminster’s cabinet has agreed to expand the scope of the Regent Street Public Realm project to include these streets along with Piccadilly Circus. We acknowledge the importance of considering public realm improvements on Regent Street St. James’s alongside enhancements to Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus to create a greater transformational place-making opportunity.  

Between March and September 2023, The Crown Estate ran a series of engagement activities with local stakeholders on the future of Haymarket. Many agreed that there are real opportunities to improve the public realm and lessen the impact of traffic to create a better experience for everyone and help to establish a successful and sustainable cultural destination in the heart if the West End.  

Find out more about the engagement The Crown Estate has conducted on the future of the Haymarket area.

What happens next?

We will continue to work closely with residents, local workers, businesses, and domestic and international visitors to shape and guide the public realm design for Regent Street, Haymarket, and Piccadilly Circus.  This will include a series of engagement activities over the next 18 months to seek further views as the designs evolve. We also plan to pilot, test and monitor some new ideas to understand their impact in real time and inform our design process.  

Together we believe we can create the very best experience for those who live in the area and the millions of people who work, visit, shop and socialise here. This can be achieved by continuing to work with all of you and to produce a public realm design that responds to opportunities and challenges, and reflects the importance and status of these two areas of the West End, both locally and internationally. 

If you require any further information, please get in touch with the project team at [email protected]

Published: 6 February 2024

Last updated: 8 February 2024