The Westway Trust estate, 23 acres of land underneath and adjacent to the Westway flyover in North Kensington, plays host to several community celebrations both in the lead-up to and during Notting Hill Carnival each year.
This year, we have been working closely with users of the estate, and event planners, to ensure the Westway estate not only remains safe and welcoming throughout Carnival but is best utilised for maximum community benefit and enjoyment.
An overview of the activities, restrictions, and access across the Westway estate is outlined below.
Portobello Market Canopy
After many years of the Canopy being closed during Carnival, we are opening this up as our commitment to increase the amount of space available to benefit our communities. As we are experimenting this year, if there is any profit made from opening this space for use during the Carnival, this will be ring-fenced for community and carnival activities. We will report on this via our website as well as through formal reporting to our Members and trustees.
The activity under the market canopy is a collaborative effort between Westway Trust, RBKC, Notting Hill Carnival Limited, and the Metropolitan Police. To ensure the safety and success of this trial, the area will be partially enclosed and monitored by security personnel throughout Carnival.
Westway Trust has issued a license for the use of Acklam Square (Acklam Road between Portobello Road and Blagrove Road) to organisers of ‘House of Vibes’ commercial venture. Westway Trust is working with event organisers to set safety parameters and provide a licence for the safe use of the space during Carnival.
Thorpe Close will remain open as a pedestrian thoroughfare during Carnival. The pods on Thorpe Close will be closed and fenced off. Fencing along both sides of Thorpe Close and Portobello Green will be erected in the lead-up to Carnival. Entrances will still be accessible and market stalls will be able to continue their usual trading days.
With no formal activities scheduled to take place on Portobello Green during Carnival this year, Portobello Green will be kept open as a meeting point for Carnival-goers.
Maxilla Memorial and Community Healing Space
In the time since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the public realm surrounding the Wall of Truth has, over time, grown to become a wider memorial space, with artists commissions and organic street art contributing to a space which has become sacred to the local community.
Carnival-goers are asked to respect the space and the importance placed on the memorial by members of our community. No formal activities are planned in this part of the estate during Carnival.
Westway Sports Centre
The space around Westway Sports Centre has been designated for use by the London Ambulance Service during Carnival.
72-second silence for Grenfell
Carnival-goers are urged to observe a 72-second silence at 3pm on both days of Carnival, to remember the 72 lives lost in the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.
Carnival is a time to come together as an international community and celebrate our unity. During the celebrations, we urge the public to please take a moment at 3pm to remember where you are and what happened here on 14 June 2017, as the shared silence of millions sends a powerful message.
It’s always a huge job for Westway Trust staff to return the estate to it’s pre-Carnival condition. Clearing and cleaning the entire Westway estate will be a meticulous process, aiming to restore the area to its original condition as quickly as we can. We are committed to working diligently, and starting from Monday night, we will focus on the Portobello Road spaces, continuing throughout Tuesday after the Carnival.
While we will make every effort to restore the entire estate to its pre-Carnival condition, this may take a number of days. Your understanding and cooperation during this clean-up period is greatly appreciated.
For any emergencies requiring immediate attention, please contact the police on 999 or 111.
As always, you can report a problem on the Westway estate any time at www.westway.org/reportit. We will do our best to respond and rectify any issues as quickly as possible, although our ability to respond immediately during Carnival will be limited.
We will have a security team on hand during both days on Carnival, based under the market canopy on Portobello Road. For any localised issues during the event, please notify one of the uniformed security officers under the canopy.
We wish all residents of North Kensington a safe and enjoyable Carnival 2023.