New hill attraction planned for Oxford Street

A series of pop up parks also form part of the shopping paradise's recovery plan. Peter Gray reports

An 82ft high hill will form the centrepiece of Oxford Street’s £150 million plan to regenerate the area and coax shoppers and tourists back to the West End.

Dubbed the Marble Arch Mound, the site will provide panoramic views of Hyde Park, Mayfair and Marylebone during its six months opening. 

Over 200,000 people are expected to visit the site in that time, with visitors paying a nominal charge for accessing to the attraction. Advance booking will be required, however, with only 25 people allowed on the platform at any given time.

Those lucky enough to access the mound will find a massive hall at the top of the site, which organisers say will be used for events and exhibitions.

The Hill is part of a larger £150m Oxford Street Regeneration plan, which also calls for a series of pop-up parks, more pedestrian space and ‘green projects. 

Al fresco dining is also prioritised under the scheme, with the government expected to give the Red light to outside dining in the next few weeks. 

Other mooted improvements include:

  • Extended footways for pedestrians
  • Increase in plants and green areas
  • Bright banners to ‘create a sense of place and aesthetic continuity’
  • ‘Urban theatres’ for outdoor performances, kitted out with lighting
  • Landscaping
  • Pop-up restaurants
  • More electric charging points
  • Zero-carbon retrofitting of heritage buildings
  • Trial installations
  • Remove unnecessary signage

Oxford Street has been particularly badly hit by the pandemic with many of the area’s shops facing a particularly bleak future.

With the majority of Londoners now working from home and with tourist numbers jot expected to return to normal until 2022, footfall in the area has sunk to an all time low. 

Often hailed as the ‘engine of the London economy’ Oxford Street has traditionally acted as London’s high street. With a plethora of big name shops and department stores and a smattering of flagship stores, the area is normally crowded with shoppers and tourists.

It is hoped that Marble Arch Hill will provide a timely boost for the area, however, with the project imagination enough to attract sightseers as well as shoppers. 

Jay Buxton, the Chief Executive of Marble Arch London Bid, was thrilled by the prospect of the hill and optimistic about its potential to spur increased footfall in the area.

She said: ‘Marble Arch Hill is a clarion call to the recovery of London’s hospitality and leisure sector, in an enduring, world-renowned destination.

We hope that once visitors and tourists are able to return, that they take advantage of this spectacular attraction and whilst here, book a stay at one of the fantastic hotels located in the area and enjoy the excellent mix of restaurants, cafes and bars we have on offer.”

Work on Marble Arch Hill is expected to begin in the a fortnight. 

More information about Oxford Street can be found here.

For information on other outdoor attractions in London please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: London news
When: forthcoming attractions
Where: Marble Arch
Website: New West End