MJ & the PrinceExtra Curricular
As part of my role in the Waterloo Quarter BID, I have been greatly involved in the procurement of the Prince’s Foundation report on Waterloo, snappily titled ‘Waterloo – a vision and plan for the Waterloo Quarter BID area’. The document’s aim has been to pull together the glut of reports on Waterloo into one singular document. I chaired the launch event at the Young Vic at the end of January.
The report presents both an analysis of the nature of the Waterloo area and a long-term vision of how that Genus Loci could be retained in the face of new development both within the BID area and in its immediate surroundings. There is a spirit peculiar to Waterloo: a style of workplace, a leisure and retail offer which is particular to this area and it has become increasingly important to have a framework for development. The BID has instigated some interesting temporary projects - Deborah’s Forest installation on Emma Cons Gardens was one such - but the BID is also a catalyst for a grander vision and the report takes a lead in how this may come about.
There are a number of developments outside of the BID area which will soon have a considerable bearing within - Elizabeth House, the Shell Centre and the planned development of Waterloo station. The launch acted as a forum for the developers to update us on these projects.
Earlier this year I was pleased to discuss the report with the Prince of Wales, who was visiting the area to find out what all the fuss was about. He took a stroll down Lower Marsh and appeared to enjoy the atmosphere as much as the horde of followers who pursued him down the street. As well as Greensmiths, he visited the vintage clothing store Radio Days, narrowly avoiding the fetish shop Honour next door.