University of Leicester event focusses on ‘The Most Diverse Street in Britain’

Narborough Road is the focus of the latest community event in the University of Leicester’s Migration and Making of Leicester series. The street has famously been described as the ‘most diverse’ in Britain.

As well as being an area, characterised by long-standing resident groups, shop owners and shifting student populations, Narborough Road has long been a welcoming ‘transition’ zone for migrants.

In the 1970s and 80s, the area saw arrivals from India, Kenya and Uganda. In the early 2000s, a flow of shop owners from Poland, Lithuania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe came to live in the West End of Leicester.

Recent surveys show arrivals from places of conflict, including Kurdistan, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. People from Sri Lanka, Somalia and other countries have also made Narborough Road their home, linked to government asylum programmes.

The University of Leicester hosts an event about its history and life in the Narborough Road area at Westcotes Library on Thursday 20 October between 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

The event is the third in the University’s Migration and Making of Leicester series, which explores the contributions that migration has made to the city.

John Williams from the Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) at University of Leicester said: "If we are talking seriously about the impact of migration in Leicester then the Narborough Road area is an obvious place to explore.

“Here people from very different countries and backgrounds have, over the past 50 years, made the area an attractive and complex place to both live and visit.

“This session is about looking at research, but also about exploring local people's own histories of life in Leicester's super-diverse West End. We hope lots of locals will come to tell their own stories."

Guest speakers at the event include Suzanne Hall, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, who has studied the area closely; Werner Menski, Emeritus Professor of Law at the School of African and Oriental Studies, who has researched diversity in Leicester since the 1970s; and Barbara Czyznikowska of the Polska Project, a community organisation of the Polish diaspora across Leicestershire.

More information about the Migration and the Making of Leicester series can be found here. To register for the event, click here