Waterman's Art Centre To Move To Former Police Station

To make way for a marina and residential riverside development


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The Waterman's Art Centre is to be moved into the former Brentford Police Station, to make way for a new marina and riverside housing development. The news follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with developer London Green at MIPIM – the international property conference in Cannes, France, on 10 March.

The iconic Brentford landmark is to be redeveloped as part of wider plans to create a marina, 300 new homes and the new home for the Watermans Arts Centre.

Waterman's Brentford


The former police station at Half Acre, which opened in 1967, had been closed following restructuring of local policing in 2013 and was sold last September to the highest of nine offers. it was thought then it would be turned into residential housing. A sketch on the London Green web site shows an artist's impression of what the new Watermans would look-like. The theatre is shown beneath a new tower block on Half Acre.

The developer's web site states that after the spring acquisition, planning permission for the scheme will be submitted in the autumn and construction work will begin next year.

Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Steve Curran, said: “This is yet another piece of good news for Hounslow and more evidence of Brentford’s burgeoning reputation as west London’s boomtown.”

The proposals include:

•Redevelopment of the Max Factor building which is the red-brick office block next to the Watermans
•Relocation of Watermans Arts Centre to site of the former police station in Brentford.
• A new Marina, homes and commercial units on the old Watermans site
•Re-establishment of the Thames Path.

Watermans on left with vacant offices to be redeveloped on the right (Google Street View)

Sketch published on the London Green web site showing the scheme which would replace the Watermans

Sketch published on the London Green web site showing the scheme which would replace the Watermans

Philip Green, spokesman for London Green, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hounslow Council to bring this project forward. It will end the uncertainty over the future location of the Watermans by enabling a high quality, sustainable arts centre – at no cost to Hounslow Council.

“We have been exploring the potential relocation with Watermans for some time and can now hold further discussions about the kind of facility that could be delivered. The plans are still at a very early stage and we will be carrying out extensive consultation with local people in the coming months.”

Brentford Police Station ( google maps)

Sketch from the London Green web site showing the new Watermans plan and tall buildings

Sketch from the London Green web site showing the new Watermans plan and tall buildings

Watermans Director Jan Lennox added: “Relocation to a new building is an important part of Watermans' future plans. Watermans is the major arts centre in West London and we have quarter of a million visitors a year. We provide a lively cultural programme for local residents and visitors to Brentford, which would be better located in the heart of the town centre.”

“We look forward to discussing a plan with Hounslow Council and London Green which would see Watermans move to a new, purpose-designed building at the site of the old Police Station.”

London Green has acquired the vacant office block adjacent to Watermans and the former Brentford Police Station site in its joint venture with Topland Group. The Watermans site and the former Brentford Police Station are both identified for development in Hounslow Council’s Local Plan.

Cllr Curran’s appearance at the Hounslow event at MIPIM is part of the effort to bring in more investment to sustain the borough’s economy. He said: “This agreement is also evidence that the council is winning its fight for more funds and investment for Hounslow at MIPIM – at no cost to council tax payers I would like to add.

“We are competing fiercely with other London boroughs and councils across the country to show why Hounslow – with Heathrow on our doorstep and central London a stone’s throw away – is the capital’s window to the world.”

March 19, 2014

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