YORK HANDMADE PLAYS PIVOTAL ROLE IN WESTGATE CENTRE REDEVELOPMENT IN OXFORD
award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has played an important role in the radical
redevelopment of the Westgate Centre in Oxford.
Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, supplied 115,000 bricks for the
exterior of the flagship John Lewis store, one of the anchor tenants of the
new-look Westgate Centre.
contract is worth £150,000 for York Handmade, one of the leading independent
brickmakers in the UK.
Westgate Centre is a joint venture between Land Securities and the Crown Estate
and is scheduled to open this autumn, following its £440m facelift.
development in the city centre will eventually have more than 100 shops, 25
restaurants and cafes, a cinema and 61 flats. There will also be a 1,000-space
underground car park, rooftop terrace dining and new public spaces and the development
will "create around 3,400 jobs in and around Oxford" when complete.
Armitage, chairman of York Handmade, commented: “It was a tremendous honour to
be asked to provide so many bricks for such a prestigious project. The old
brutalist Westgate Centre, iconic in its own way, is being replaced by a much
more sensitive and modern development.
redevelopment of the Westgate Centre highlights the new fashion for replacing
concrete with brick, which creates a softer, more attractive appearance. In a
historic city like Oxford, this is much more appropriate. In this way, the new
Westgate Centre is a bold statement of intent, with our bricks playing an
thin Maxima bricks, which are becoming increasingly popular, provide a
distinctive and sensitive look. It was crucial we got this look right,
otherwise the John Lewis building would have looked completely out of synch
with the rest of the new Centre.
been working closely with contractors Laing O’Rourke and brick merchants
Modular Clay Products and it has been a real team effort. It is a privilege to
work on such a crucial development in such an historic city,” he added.
from John Lewis, shops at the new Westgate Centre include Hugo Boss, Ted Baker,
Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, Jo Malone, Russell &
Bromley, Blackwells, Pret, River Island, Sainsbury’s and New Look.