Brent Cross

Brent Cross

infobox shopping mall
shopping_mall_name = Brent Cross Shopping Centre

caption = Inside Brent Cross
hours= 10am - 8pm Mon to Fri
9am - 7pm Sat
12pm - 6pm Sun
architect = BDP
location = Barnet, UK
coordinates = coord|51|34|36|N|0|13|26|W|type:landmark_region:GB|display=inline,title
opening_date = 1976
developer = Hammerson and Standard Life
manager = Brent Cross Centre Management
owner = Hammerson and Standard Life
number_of_stores =
number_of_anchors =
area = 151
floor_area = 74,320 m2 on opening [ [ Museum of London - Shopping Centres ] ]
floors = 2 (3 in the three largest stores)
parking = 8000
website = []

Brent Cross (also known as Brent X) in London is best known as the first shopping centre of its kind to be built in the UK. Situated on the North Circular between the southern terminus of the M1 motorway and the Brent Cross Flyover in the London Borough of Barnet and taking its name from the River Brent which runs through the site.

When some scenes for the James Bond file "Tomorrow Never Dies" had to be re-shot, Brent Cross car park was used. Warning notices were placed around the mall to prevent shoppers from panicking at the sounds of gunfire and explosions.


It was the first experiment in this style of shopping experience in the UK when it opened in 1976 and was initially constructed in an I shape parallel to the North Circular, with the two largest stores being placed at each end. Subsequent expansion starting in 1995 saw the open parking areas to the north replaced by further shops and multi-storey parking giving the present inverted T shape. Although small by the standards of more recent shopping complexes such as Meadowhall, Bluewater and the Metro Centre in Gateshead it suffers from site area limitations having been built within the conurbation rather than out-of-town. Despite its small size Brent Cross has one of the largest incomes per unit area retail space in the UK. The centre became a 'No Smoking' area on 1 January 2002.


Brent Cross was advertised by agency Baber Smith with a "Feed Your Addiction" campaign. Under head of marketing Norman J Black, between 2002 and 2006 Brent Cross won 11 awards for its marketing, events and promotional activities.

Every December BXFM (Brent X FM) broadcasts to the local area on 87.7FM, in addition to the shopping centre itself. The radio station features Brent Cross news and promotions, music and travel updates every 15 minutes.

"Development Framework" plan

On 5 January 2004, Barnet London Borough Council approved a "Development Framework" plan [ [ Development Framework - Contents and chapter 1 only - chapters 2 to 7 also can be accessed] ] to expand Brent Cross into adjacent land formerly used for offices and to regenerate Hendon and Cricklewood. The plans are jointly promoted by the Greater London Authority and the local council. In 2006, the centre announced plans to start charging for car parking sometime in 2007, although this seems to have been quietly dropped after fierce opposition. Brent Cross currently offers 8,000 free parking spaces.

In March 2008, an outline planning application was partly registered with Barnet Council [ [ Planning application by Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners] ] , but the "Transport Assessment" part of the application has still not been published (as of 6 October 2008).


The nearest London Underground station is on the Northern Line and was renamed from Brent to Brent Cross tube station when the centre opened. The station is about a 10 minute walk from Brent Cross shopping centre, however the shopping centre is possibly equidistant from Hendon Central station. Neither tube station is a particularly easy walk from the shopping centre, however, due to the number of motorways and A-roads intersecting in the area. Despite their names, neither the tube station nor the shopping centre are located in the London Borough of Brent.

The shopping centre also has its own bus station, open 24 hours and serving 13 routes around north London and the West End.

In early 2008, the London Group of the Campaign for Better Transport (UK) published a plan [ [ London Campaign for Better Transport] Brent Cross Railway plan] for a light-rail service through the Brent Cross site, and along the freight-only Dudding Hill Line.


External links

* [ Brent Cross official website]
* [ BXFM (Brent Cross FM) website]
* [ Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration website]
* [ Area Regeneration plan]

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