KX Street Naming Competition: 10,000:01

Posted: Thursday 5th March 2015

It’s not often you have to answer the question, ‘How do you filter over 10,000 suggested street names down to just one?’, but the team at King’s Cross has done exactly that.

Following a staggering response to its street naming competition, which received over 10,000 entries from across the globe, the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) can now reveal the shortlist for new streets in the development, including the first one to find its way onto a street sign: Wollstonecraft Street

The public competition, which was launched in March 2013, saw an overwhelming 10,035 individual entries sent in from over 5,000 different people. Suggestions for names came from London, across the UK, and from all over the world, including hundreds from Europe, the USA, Russia, Brazil and Australia.

The team at King’s Cross was presented with a challenge: how to choose from such a wealth of suggestions. In order to create a shortlist which encapsulated both modern culture and historic references relevant to the King’s Cross area, a robust and in-depth process was launched, creating an assessment process that considered not just the popularity of entries, but their relevance, local resonance, and reflection of the area’s diverse history.

The selection process took over two years, run in close partnership with Camden Council, and working in consultation with the Royal Mail and the emergency services.

Wollstonecraft Street, the first street to be named as part of the competition, runs next to the Plimsoll Building, and will be the street address for the new Academy and Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children. The street is named after Mary Wollstonecraft, the eighteenth-century English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights, who lived in King’s Cross before her death, in 1797, shortly after giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

Commenting on the competition and the first street name to be used, Robert Evans of KCCLP and Chair of Governors at the King’s Cross Academy, said:

“We were thrilled and overwhelmed by the sheer number of entries submitted; it is heartening to know how much people all over the world care about King’s Cross, and want to have a stake in its future. We have gone through a robust and in-depth process to consider and assess every entry. Wollstonecraft Street will be home to the new Academy opening this September and Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, and we will announce other names as we finalise plans for the remaining new parts of King’s Cross.”

Leader of Camden Council, Councillor Sarah Hayward, said:

“The announcement of naming a street after Mary Wollstonecraft is timely, coming around the time we mark International Women’s Day and reflect on the work she did in campaigning for equal rights for women nearly a hundred years ago. She paved the way for me to be Leader of Camden Council, and for all our political parties in Camden to be led by women.  It’s a wonderful decision and I celebrate it”

With Wollstonecraft Street now named, the remaining streets to be named will be chosen from a short list of 29 names.

To mark the outcome of the competition, an exhibition will run at the King’s Cross Visitor Centre; titled 10,000:01, it will include a range of infographic displays developed specially to explain the selection process. It will be open from 27 March – 30 April 2015, 10am-5pm, Monday – Friday, and 10am-4pm Saturday – Sunday.

For everything you need to know about the competition, download the competition booklet here.

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