3-5 Thorpe Close is a large space on the Westway estate. The space was previously known as Westbank Gallery; and before that, Inn on the Green and The Flyover.

As custodians of the land underneath the Westway flyover, Westway Trust is responsible for ensuring this, and all other spaces on the estate, provide maximum benefit for the community of North Kensington.

During the pandemic, the tenants of 3-5 Thorpe Close, Westbank Gallery, ended their occupancy of the space. 

Open Conversations

In early 2022, we commenced a programme of open conversations to determine the community’s views on how the space should be used, what type of operational model, and who should benefit from the space.

The  programme of Open Converations is outlined in the diagram below.

Open Conversations phase one: In-person workshops

A series of four open community events were held at 3-5 Thorpe Close between March-May 2022. Over 150 individuals attended these open conversations. 

A summary of the findings of these open discussions can be downloaded here. 

Open converations phase two: Online surveys

All attendees from phase one, and the wider community, were then invited to complete an online survey. The survey asked individuals to rank and prioritise the ideas and themes identified in phase one. 

A summary of the findingsof the online survey can be downloaded here. 

Operating Plans: Phase 1

In the operation of this space we want to:

  • Respect the history of the space;
  • Acknowledge the opportunity that it presented for the African Caribbean community which was subsequently removed; and
  • Enable the space to be available for the diverse range of communities.

It was clear from the consultation that a commercial operator would not be able to accommodate the needs that were expressed.

We are therefore undertaking a basic refurbishment of the building and over the coming months we will build the operating model. In the first instance, Westway Trust will manage and run the space, bearing any financial risk. Some time after Christmas, we will open the front part of the space, with a small number of supervised events in the rear of the space.

Once we have the operation up and running and have generated some revenue, we will commission and install a lift. We aim this to be within the first six months of operating. Then the space will be ready for full use and there will be an annual evaluation.

In the coming months we will advertise for a ‘steering group’ to advise us on the operations in order to build a reputation for the space over a three year period. If you are interested in applying to be on the steering group when applications open, please complete the initial expression of interest form on this page.

Refurbishment Works

The Phase 1 refurbishment works to 3-5 Thorpe Close started with the repair and painting in turquoise of the north facing balcony structure and the regeneration of the oak handrail which collectively took 2 weeks. This was completed on 23 September by Sorzano Construction.

An interim mechanical and electrical design period involved Tierney Architects working to their brief of creating a community Café and Event Space.

The Phase 1 refurbishment works have continued internally from 17 October with the demolition and strip out works of the old bar, fixtures and the redundant stair lift and radiators. After asbestos analysis, further demolition of the old suspended ceilings will start on 1 November, followed by the complete electrical strip out of redundant wiring and fixtures as these were condemned.

The ceilings and walls decoration scheme will be phased to accommodate the electrical works, and completed after any new structural works are built and prior to the electrical second fix works (fixtures & fittings), kitchen and bar fit-out.

The Phase 1 works are due for completion in December 2022, and planning for the Phase 2 works are already in design.

Phase 2 will include the installation of a new accessible passenger lift.

This is a big investment for the Westway Trust on behalf of communities, particularly in difficult financial times, but closed buildings deteriorate and we are committed to making as much space available for use as possible.