|Guinness Brewery Site||Brent|
The Guinness company purchased the Park Royal site in 1933 and in addition to the brewery buildings, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, there were gardens, sports fields and facilities such as bowling and tennis for the workers. By 1949 it had become the largest brewery in the country, employing 1,100 workers. Development of the west part of the site containing the playing fields was granted planning permission in 1999 for a mixed use development, which required 3 hectares to be landscaped open space. This development, known as First Central, has to date built 2 office buildings, one being the headquarters of Diageo, set in landscaped grounds that include a 4.05-hectare central park with a series of lakes and cascades, and a 9.1-hectare nature reserve. Future plans include residential and hotel accommodation as well as additional office space. Brewing ceased in 2005 and development of the eastern part of the site is not yet determined.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.firstcentral.co.uk
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
Before the redevelopment of the west part of the site as the First Central office park, the boundary with Coronation Road consisted of privet hedge and wire mesh, beyond which were the playing fields and an undistinguished pavilion, beyond which to the east were the bulk of the brewery buildings, in use until 2005. Behind the clubhouse on Twyford Abbey Road was a more ornamental layout of walks, bowling greens, with flower beds and specimen trees, and there was once some planting of shrubs and trees at the entrance on Coronation Road.
In 1999 planning permission was granted to Guinness Ltd and London & Regional Properties Ltd that gave full permission for a new access road from the A40 and outline permission for a mixed-use development on the western part of the site where the playing fields and other recreational facilities were located. The new office park comprises office buildings, residential units, an underground station including ancillary retail, a hotel, indoor leisure facilities and open space, with associated access/servicing, landscaping and parking, and it necessitated demolition of existing brewery and leisure buildings such as the club house. In 2012 further planning permission was granted to First Central for 3 office buildings and 4 residential blocks to be built on the western site, with associated landscaping and provision to include 2 play areas and a multi use games area. Residential provision will include affordable housing by Catalyst Housing.
The master plan for the First Central site was undertaken by architects Sheppard Robson, with landscape architects Grontmij forming part of the team. The masterplan created a contemporary parkland setting for the business park orientated around the retention of a mature belt of specimen trees. A new 5-acre public park was created with a 4.5 acre landscape buffer and wildlife corridor between the new link road and railway land. The park was based on the concept of a valley with new lakes emulating the progress of a river from source to mouth. A series of weirs animate the water as it travels down stream, growing increasingly calmer until it reaches a contemplative pool in the wooded valley floor. Grontmij has retained a constant connection with the project and is currently commissioned as landscape architects for a new lakeside residential development in the park.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); LB Brent, Guinness Brewery Site: Combined Supplementary Planning Document and Planning Position Statement, December 2005; Brent Council planning documents (applications 98/0016 and 10/3221); information on Grontmij website: www.grontmij.co.uk/landscapearchitect/offices/Pages/firstcentral.aspx