Plans to overhaul Oxford Street with pocket parks, wider pavements and better crossings have been made official. 

Westminster City Council has signed a deal with the New West End Company for the first stage of funding to enact the plans, which are set to cost around £100m.

The council cabinet has formally approved the business case and the £7.7m funding for the next phase of design work, which will incorporate a large-scale consultation run over the summer, with works expected to begin by autumn next year. 

Westminster Council cabinet member for planning and economic development Geoff Barraclough said: “After years of abandoned schemes, we are now about to finally get underway with a deliverable plan to breathe new life into Oxford Street. With the support of our partners at NWEC, we now have a coalition of the council, retailers, landowners and others in place to develop a practical but also ambitious plan.

“The West End constantly needs to adapt if it is to continue to be a draw to shoppers. The buzz is definitely back on Oxford Street with brands like Ikea and HMV taking up space, and the prospect of new galleries and arts spaces will make it a great all-round experience. 

“The UK’s high street needs to be a place that local communities, residents and visitors can feel pride in. The New West End Company and Westminster City Council have a long track record in successful collaboration, and together with local communities we will work to ensure it remains a prime visitor attraction.”

New West End Company chief executive Dee Corsi said: “We are delighted to be working with Westminster City Council and our members on the enhancement of Oxford Street’s public realm. This is just one part of a bigger, once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity to regenerate one of the world’s most iconic retail and leisure destinations.

“We are confident that the proposed plans, which have been well received by both the local community and businesses, will catapult it into the twenty-first century. Hot on the heels of the completion of the Elizabeth Line, which has supported 73 million journeys to the district since opening, the partnership between NWEC and WCC will improve and enhance the visitor experience from the moment our visitors arrive on Oxford Street.

“Alongside ambitious mixed-use developments, experiential retail and immersive leisure offerings, an improved public realm is the missing centre piece of the jigsaw that will ensure long-term sustainable growth.”