Harlesden: Where Ireland meets the Caribbean

Harlesden: Where Ireland meets the CaribbeanHarlesdon is in many ways an 'up and coming' place. Since its inception as a rural village in the 19th century, it has quickly grown to become a thriving inner-city suburb that is rich in culture and community-based activities.

The impending arrival of the Crossrail and regeneration efforts by Brent Council has really helped to put Harlesden on the map, and it is rapidly becoming popular with young, aspiring artists, families and yuppies.

It is better known for its vibrant Caribbean culture and is unofficially known as the 'reggae capital' of London.

This is just one of many testaments to its diversity and multiculturalism. The area also benefits from Irish, Portuguese, Colombian and Brazilian communities.

As a result, there are now many mouth-watering restaurants and cafés in which you can sample food from many of these cultures.

It also has its fair share of authentic Irish pubs, which as you can imagine are very popular among the locals.

Regeneration

Harlesden centre is now in the process of regeneration. Plans to revamp the area were started in May 2013, and are expected to take another six months to complete.

After consultation with local residents and organisations, the £4 million scheme will see Harlesden town centre transformed and a section of the high street become a semi-pedestrianised zone by 2015.

As part of the project, traffic will be redirected around the centre of Harlesden, in a bid to cut journey times and congestion.

At the same time, the project will also see newly-paved and wider footways built to provide more space for pedestrians.

There will also be more trees planted in the area, as part of plans to improve air quality.

In addition, more parking spots will be built for cyclists and new bus stops will also be constructed.

The Jubilee Clock - one of the most iconic landmarks in Harlesden -will be temporarily removed from its present location on a traffic island for six months.

Commenting on the scheme, councillor Jim Moher said: "Harlesden's regeneration has been a long time in the planning and I'm so delighted that we are now at the stage where the work can finally begin.

"This regeneration is great news for Harlesden and Brent as a whole because it will not only enhance the environment it will also create opportunities and bring economic growth to the local community and beyond."

History

Like many areas in London, Harlesden came from relatively humble beginnings. It started off as a rural village, in which cottages were built for for railway and industrial workers, while bigger homes were constructed for the middle class.

However as industrial development got underway, more and more factories were built in the area and these slowly began to replace farms and woodlands.

As an increasing number of terraced homes and industrial houses were built, it very quickly grew into an urban stronghold.

However, the face of Harlesden very quickly began to change again, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the first wave of Caribbean immigration began.

The next few decades would see new arrivals from Ireland, Africa, Europe and the Indian subcontinent as well.

All of these communities have contributed a great deal to the rich heritage of the area and its resulting influences.

Properties

Properties consist mainly of terraced housing and flat conversions, with some of the bigger homes located in the suburbs.

There is a large number of flats in the locality, and they sell for between £250,000 and £799,000.

The average flat price in Harlesden stands at around £300 per week. On the other hand, renting a home will cost an average £519 per week.

Around 86 per cent of the properties in the area are flats, while 14 per cent are houses.

Schools

There are a selection of schools in Harlesden which have been rated as 'good' by Ofsted.

This includes the Brentfield, Mitchell Brook, Leopold and Newfield primaries, and the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Newman Catholic College and Capital City Academy secondary schools.
 

Published 13th June, 2014

© 2014 Estates IT Limited

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Harlesden: Where Ireland meets the Caribbean

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