Fitzrovia families - part 2
Lorraine is a parent who regularly attends drop in sessions held by the West End Children’s Centre
“I have lived and worked in Fitzrovia since 1995, since I came here to study and started my own music based business. I’m still working here, and have children at school and nursery locally but have been housed temporarily out of the area for last 16 months.
Fitzrovia always changes but somehow stays the same. A lot of the small sandwich bars hare gone. There appear to be fewer restaurants and bars or boutiques and charity shops and low end eateries Sub-way, Greggs and chicken shops. There are more chain type businesses now - more Tescos , Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and M&S type food stores, more Starbucks, Prets and that type of business.
The area used to feel like the residential side of West End. It was always expensive but worth it for journalists, artists, musicians, independent film makers, performers and fashion designers. Fitzrovia is still a centre for music, art, film, and media, although some of the industry I was involved in has moved away: magazine publishers, media lawyers, PR firms.
There was a sense of community in Fitzrovia - a village feel - but lately it’s being eroded. People moved here to live in small spaces, combine work with home and benefit from networking opportunities. I feel less of that is happening and people remaining are being forced out. Now here seem to be a lot of boarded up shops and houses in the area. I don’t think people choose to move into Fitzrovia anymore as it has become unaffordable. The posh side is also dying off. This could be easily turned around and area would improve if landlords took a cut on residential business rents and take more casual approach to tenants.”