Modern makeover for Brunel masterpiece sees new shops pull into Paddington
Sales soar as leading retailers set up shop in Paddington Lawn
Network Rail regeneration prepares historic terminus for upsurge in visitors with arrival of Crossrail
Total station retail sales at London Paddington have soared by 40% between April and June 2017 following a multimillion pound regeneration project delivered by Network Rail.
The station’s £13m Paddington Lawn upgrade began in July 2015 and includes 16 new-and-improved retail units. Visitors can now enjoy high quality brands like Kiehls and Thomas Pink, as well as ‘grab and go’ casual dining food outlets including Leon to complement existing outlets such as the award-winning Mad Bishop & Bear pub.
Improvements to the Lawn, named after the former site of the station master’s garden, were delivered alongside a new and refurbished roof and a new open-plan ticket office.
The development is the latest stage in the Brunel-designed station’s 163-year evolution, with Network Rail working closely with English Heritage to prepare the Grade 1 listed site for a huge rise in footfall whilst preserving its historic design.
Currently catering for 60 million visitors a year, the arrival of Crossrail in 2018 and the completion of nearby regeneration projects such as the Paddington Opportunity Area are expected to bring in millions more station users by the close of the decade.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail for Network Rail, said: “As footfall figures and retail sales at Network Rail managed stations continue to rise, the completion of Paddington Lawn gives commuters a new high-quality shopping experience. Convenience shopping has never been more popular, and our stations are becoming destinations in their own right due to the wide range of new retailers and food options available to commuters and visitors alike.
“Britain’s railway stations are great symbols of our industrial heritage, and regeneration projects like Paddington Lawn ensure the spaces created by Victorian visionaries remain relevant and fit-for-purpose.”
The station has also seen an upsurge in public interest following the recent Paddington movie franchise, with the release of Paddington 2 this November expected to drive further profile for this iconic location.
The completion of Paddington Lawn forms part of Network Rail’s wider investment in station regeneration across the UK. Over the last several years, the refurbishments of London King’s Cross and Birmingham New Street have transformed the retail offer at these stations for visitors and their surrounding communities. This trend is set to continue with Network Rail’s ongoing refurbishment of London Bridge station, due for completion in 2018.