By Linus Rees
One of the many services we provide to residents in Fitzrovia is a free community newspaper. We publish Fitzrovia News four times a year and it is the only free local newspaper delivered to residential addresses in Fitzrovia. This gives it a unique selling point for those businesses and services wishing to market themselves to Fitzrovia’s diverse residential population.
Fitzrovia has about 8,000 residents living in the streets bounded by Euston Road to the north, Gower Street to the east, Oxford Street to the south and Great Portland Street to the west. Fitzrovia is a neighbourhood on the border of City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden and includes the post code areas W1 and WC1.
The neighbourhood is quite demographically mixed with about 30 percent of people owning their own home and about 60 percent of people living in either private or socially-rented accommodation. House prices and private rents are very high. Car ownership in Fitzrovia is very low and many people walk or cycle to work. Fitzrovia also has a significant Asian population many of whom describe themselves as of Bangladeshi origin. Half the population of Fitzrovia describe themselves as “white British”. Fitzrovia has a large student population mostly living in halls of residence around Charlotte and Fitzroy Streets. Local children attend All Souls’ Church of England Primary School and the two nurseries run by the London Early Years Foundation. Older children attend a variety of schools outside the neighbourhood either in Camden or Westminster. Many of these go on to study in the many further and higher education institutions in and around the area. The north western part of Fitzrovia around Carburton Street has a large population of people aged over 60 years, many of who suffer from economic deprivation and live alone. Many writers, artists, celebrities and academics choose to make their home in Fitzrovia.
All parts of Fitzrovia are environmentally deprived. Air quality is poor, motor traffic levels are high, and there is a shortage of public open space. Very few residences have a garden. Fitzrovia is also considered to have high levels of living environment deprivation.
Overall Fitzrovia — like many parts of London — has wide disparities in wealth. Middle income earners are disproportionately under-represented in Fitzrovia. There is a great shortage of affordable and social housing. Yet many properties are used as a pied-a-terre with people leaving for their main home on the weekends, and many properties remain empty. There also high-levels of illegal short-letting here.
Many estate agents are keen to seek property to buy, sell, let or rent in Fitzrovia. There is also a buoyant commercial property market. Laurence Glynne of LDG estate agents says: “We get people looking to buy studio flats. Parents buying for their children. And of course they see property as an investment. Lots of young couples are looking to buy. Lots of international students want to rent property. Also city workers are looking to rent. Families tend to buy mews houses.”
The overwhelming majority of the readers of the print edition of Fitzrovia News are residents of Fitzrovia. Yet most of the 2,500 hits on our news website every month are from people either working, visiting or seeking information about Fitzrovia. An increasing number of our readers are from the many thousands of people who commute to work in Fitzrovia.
Regular advertisers in Fitzrovia News include estate agents and property developers, solicitors and law firms, schools and nurseries, further and higher education institutions, arts centres, galleries, health and leisure centres, and local retailers.
If you feel that your service or business would be of need to or of interest to Fitzrovia’s residential population, then you may like to consider advertising in Fitzrovia News. Advertising in Fitzrovia News also helps support our running costs to enable us to deliver our advice, information and welfare services. By marketing your business in Fitzrovia News you are supporting a local charity. Please contact Fitzrovia News for more information and prices.
Demographic information from Census 2001, ward profiles and other social research.
The author is chair of trustees of Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, and assistant editor and fundraiser for Fitzrovia News. As a registered charity Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association is allowed to raise up to 25 percent of our income from trading.