Local Economy

Improving the local economy in Harlesden

You have told us that unemployment in the area is a major concern for local residents. Harlesden ward has a particularly high ratio of those claiming Job Seekers Allowance at 18.3% in 2015. This compares to Brent at 3.5% and London at 2.6%.


Harlesden is a major business location, therefore it is also the source of most local employment but Harlesden and Kensal Green wards have a low ratio of jobs to population. 

The town centre provides most local employment, together with the public sector, eg schools, health services and London Transport. 

A major concern for Harlesden is that the number of local jobs provided will be overshadowed by the number of new jobs to be created at the Old Oak develeopment. It is essential that local people are given the opportunity to access these jobs.


The town centre provides a large number of jobs, so it is important that its vitality and viability is maintained and enhanced in order to provide even more job opportunities. 

The number of jobs in Harlesden ward - at 19.7% of the working age population - is very low compared to Brent and London.

Land resources are scarce so a key question is whether there is a need for new local developments to provide jobs and whether existing industrial sites that provide employment should be protected.


High Street, Harlesden

Harlesden in its heyday

Our work

Do you want to have a say about the local economy in Harlesden?


We are always looking for people to join the working groups and we want to hear what you think.


The group meets to discuss the challenges faced by Harlesden with respect to the local economy, including the sustainability of the high street and creating more jobs for local people, and has looked at possible ideas and solutions. We have gathered feedback from you and the key themes which have emerged and which will be added to the draft plan are:

  • Considering how certain parts of Harlesden can be better used to create a thriving local economy, for example identifying areas for potential development

  • Many people want to ensure that job and training opportunities from the OPDC development are available to Harlesden residents

  • We heard from residents that the high street should be more community-friendly, providing more shops and services that cater for different budgets and tastes

  • You told us that you would like to see improvements to the high street’s appearance

  • The forum could help local businesses to apply for funding from the Mayor of London's High Street Fund and other relevant funding sources, to make imrovements to the appearance of our High Street, thus helping local businesses to thrive

  • Expanding the town centre towards Willesden Junction station so that there are good links with the new OPDC development

  • Making sure that any new shops in Old Oak do not have a negative effect on Harlesden retail businesses

  • You want to see better marketing of Harlesden by the Forum and other local groups

To join the working group and find out more email us at: