Chancery Lane

Chancery Lane and surrounding area

Client testimonial

'We have been working with Plan Projects since 2009 and have been impressed by their open approach to the task that we set for them, their enthusiasm to consult with all the varied stakeholders and their tailored recommendations which draw on the particular characteristics of our area.'

Tim Bacon, Secretary, Chancery Lane Association

Client

Chancery Lane Association

Principal Stakeholders

  • The Community of Organisations in Chancery Lane
  • Corporation of London
  • Westminster City Council
  • Camden Council

Summary

As part of improvements to the public open spaces and facilities in the street, the ACS for Chancery Lane presents the role of cultural activity in attracting more visitors and diversifying the investment potential of the area and thereby contributing to its regeneration.

Context

One of the key considerations was the role Chancery Lane plays in its urban context; the study therefore looked not only at the primary study area of Chancery Lane itself, but the secondary study area, a large area that includes a number of notable cultural assets and destinations, such as the Sir John Saone Museum and Dr. Johnson’s House. From a strategic perspective, the ACS was designed to allow the street to confront competition from neighbouring locations such as New Square and the resurgent Holborn.

Vision

The project foresaw the delivery of a rich and varied cultural programme over the longer term making best use of the improved facilities and good will of local stakeholders and local authority officers to cultivate a change in the way Chancery Lane is perceived and ultimately used. Spark a ‘growing awareness’ that the street has changed, encouraging potential visitors and London’s retail and restaurant community to take a fresh look at this iconic street.

Key recommendations

The study produced a number of recommendations including:

  • Any programme of cultural activity should link up with other organisations and initiatives in the Secondary Study Area, and not just Chancery Lane. This was so as to build the profile and attractions of an entire section of the city, which could make a more compelling offer than Chancery Lane alone.
  • A temporary public square should be created in the centre of the Chancery Lane through the installation of a platform to create a raised carriageway; such an installation would have a transformational effect on the street and allow events to take place, thus allowing the central section to evolve into a form of ‘urban village:’ an adaptable, people friendly environment rich in cultural value.
  • Through the use of banners and other forms of suspended art works, one of the main difficulties for the street could be addressed: the difficulty that the central retail section of the street is invisible from either end. Such installations could act as teasers that encourage people to explore, thereby increasing foot fall and stimulating the retail economy.