For almost 90 years, Cork Street in Mayfair has been one of the most famous streets for art galleries in London, and possibly the world. Cork Street is known and loved not only in Britain but internationally, and provides a major draw to London and the UK throughout the course of a year. The history and atmosphere of this street, as well as its close proximity to the Royal Academy of Art, make this a unique place to visit for collectors, art enthusiasts, students and tourists alike.
The careers of many prominent British artists – Barbara Hepworth, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, and Lynn Chadwick, to name a few – have been closely related to Cork Street.
In August 2012, Standard Life, the landlord for seven galleries on Cork Street, sold the building to a property development company called Native Land. The Mayor Gallery (the oldest gallery on Cork Street), Beaux Arts, Alpha Gallery, Adam Gallery, Stoppenbach & Delestre, Waterhouse & Dodd, and Gallery 27 are all affected.
The leases for a number of these Galleries are due to expire between March and June next year. It is thought that planning applications will be submitted to Westminster Council in the next 3-4 months, and from July next year, short-term breakable leases will be in place. The affected Galleries will ultimately have to re-locate in order to make way for the MacDonaldisation of the street. If, as has been suggested, Pollen Estate – owner of a number of buildings on the opposite side of the road which house another dozen Galleries - follow suit, this would, surely, spell the end of Cork Street as a hub for the showcasing of artistic and creative talent of all periods.
Westminster Council are yet to receive any planning application. They have advised us that when the application is entered for consideration, any objections or opinions should be registered with them. Please see the link below: