Opening gym, restaurant and rooftop bar in former House of Fraser store
Visualisation of the planned development. Picture: Ministry of Sound
Westfield’s old House of Fraser store will change forever under the Ministry of Sound’s plans to transform the huge site into a gym, restaurant and offices. The nightclub owner is set to hold “fitness raves” at the 115,000 sq ft department store based in Shepherd's Bush.
The new set-up is expected to open in 2024 with a rooftop bar and event space. Westfield has been looking for a company to take over the spot since 2020 and the conversion of the building is expected to begin this summer.
More than 20 House of Fraser stores have now closed after the group was bought by billionaire Mike Ashley’s Fraser Group, which owns Sports Direct, in 2018. The Ministry expects around 4,000 people to visit the new spot per day and the project is likely to cost tens of millions of pounds.
The company plans to open a new office space for 1,200 people and hotdesking for 500. The project includes fitness studios with classes led by instructors and a juice bar promoting nutrition open to the public. A separate members' gym with exclusive access for workers is also featured in the plans.
The old department store will also be converted into space for a members' bar and public rooftop bar and restaurant with capacity for 150 people, serving brunches and cocktails all day, every day.
The Ministry Breakout. Picture: Ministry of Sound
The UK chief of Westfield’s parent group Scott Parsons said, “Repurposing of retail space is a good thing. With a shopping centre the size of Westfield London we will have a critical mass of leisure, retail, and food and beverage, and we are adding to the mix by repurposing space.
“The 2,000 people working in the co-working space at Ministry will be adding to the footfall and sales at Westfield and those people will have hundreds of shops [and] a leisure offer right on their doorstep.”
The Ministry of Sound first began in South London 30 years ago and has a club in Elephant and Castle. The company launched a work space in Borough in 2018 with a café, bar, sound studio and gym and it now has around 1,200 members.
Chair of the Ministry of Sound group Lohan Presencer said, “Ministry of Sound has a long history of creating experiences that disrupt the norm and exceed all expectation, in nightclubs, music, live events, fitness and more recently workspace.
“The first Ministry has been a huge success, reaching full occupancy within its first year, and we are very excited about our second location and this partnership with URW [Westfield], where we are going bigger and bolder.”
Debenhams also left Westfield in 2020 after the shopping centre refused its pleas for rent cuts. Conversion plans are now being finalised to turn it into a space for retail, food and leisure.
Hannah Neary - Local Democracy Reporter
June 27, 2022