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The local economy


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 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 development. 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.

Neighbourhood Plan policies and aspirations

The Neighbourhood Plan includes the following policies and aspirations (aspirations are indications of what the Forum would like to do or see that cannot be defined as planning policies)


  • Local employment sites can only be redeveloped when employment use is no longer viable – policy

  • Station Road land use – aspiration

  • Engaging with the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation to maximise access to jobs for Harlesden residents – aspiration 

  • Expand Harlesden Town Centre and work with Brent Council and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation to ensure that the new development to the south does not have an adverse impact – aspiration 

  • Improvements to shop frontages – policy and aspiration (funding)

  • A ‘town square’ and space for new town centre users – policy 

  • Promoting and marketing the town centre – aspiration 

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