Animating Thorpe Close

Our aim is to turn Thorpe Close, which essentially functioned as a car park six days a week, into a lively, vibrant and animated street space to better connect Ladbroke Grove with Portobello Road.

The new spaces support enterprise, small business incubation, maker space and other commercial and community activity which will be accessible, affordable and flexible for community and business use.

If you would like more information or are interested in using one of the units please apply online here.

About The Plans


We have secured funding from the Mayor of London's High Street Fund to animate Thorpe Close  by removing all but essential parking and adding 8 small units which can be used for start-up businesses, retail, community and cultural activity. The new spaces support the Saturday market by accommodating the existing stalls, but also provide activity and opportunity outside of market days and improve the connectivity between Ladbroke Grove and Portobello Road throughout the week.


Thorpe Close offers a route between Portobello Road and Ladbroke Grove. With the exception of Saturdays, the route has been essentially used as a service road and car parking area which fails to encourage a flow of people through Thorpe Close. We want to make better use of the available space, promote a more active, inviting offer outside of market days and deliver greater opportunities for the community and local entrepreneurs.

The main issues raised during the consultation were:

  • Lack of creative/artist space in the local area
  • Poor air quality
  • Lack of activity on non-market days (Mon - Thurs)
  • Lack of seating
  • Lack of accessible community space
  • Area feels unsafe
  • Public space needs improvements
  • Lack of affordable work space
  • More greening along Thorpe Close
  • The market is declining
  • Lack of signage - poor wayfinding from Ladbroke Grove through Thorpe Close to Portobello Road

The concept design, informed by the results of the co-design workshops was played back to the community at a week-long exhibition which included the Trust's plans for the wider Portobello area. The exhibition took place from November 15th to November 20th 2016 at 1 Thorpe Close and 165 people attended the exhibition over the 6 days.