Mayor announces £1.5bn deal to transform Silvertown Quays

10 June 2013

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has confirmed a £1.5bn deal with The Silvertown Partnership to transform Silvertown Quays in London’s Royal Docks into a new innovation quarter and destination for global brands, creating over 9,000 new jobs and boosting the UK economy by £6.5bn when complete.

The deal will see the site, currently owned by the Greater London Authority, transformed into the world’s first cluster of purpose built centres for product innovation, where top brands will be able to showcase their latest products and interact with customers in an entirely new way.

It will transform this part of the Royal Docks from the industrial to the digital age by creating a new waterside destination that will be home to innovative design, high technology and green enterprise where people can come to research, learn and discover new products and ideas.

The new quarter, built around a re-enlivened dock, will also contain space for incubator and technology businesses well as more than 1500 new homes, restaurants, cafes, galleries and leisure facilities both on and off the water, making it a thriving destination for Londoners and visitors alike to live, work and enjoy.

At the heart of the site will be a grand avenue of state-of-the-art ‘brand pavilions’, where top brands from across the world will be able to showcase the future of their products, creating a new brand destination in London.

Stand-alone brand pavilions have been built in Europe, and beyond, over the last decade but The Silvertown will be the first purpose built brand destination in the world.

Situated in the heart of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, the 50 acre site will also benefit from a new bridge connecting it to the ExCel giving visitors and residents access to fantastic transport links, including a new Crossrail station with express services to the City (10 mins) and the West End (17 mins). Work on the first phase of the site is expected to begin in 2014/15 with the first businesses moving in in 2017.

The whole development is expected to create £6.5bn of economic benefit for the UK economy over the next 25 years.

The deal is a key part of the Mayor’s on-going commitment to regenerate the Royal Docks into London’s next business district, bringing jobs and homes back to the capital’s waterways and builds on the momentum of the development of the Olympic Park and Stratford City.

It is the latest in a string of investments in the area, including the recently announced ABP business port at Royal Albert Dock, Siemens Crystal Centre, the UK's first urban cable car, Emirates Air Line and new homes at Great Eastern Quay, as well as plans to create the UK’s largest floating village at Royal Victoria Dock.

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, who will be speaking later at the inaugural Real Estate Forum, bringing together business leaders, investors, real estate owners and developers in the London real estate market said: “The regeneration of London’s historic Royal Docks continues apace. The confirmation of this deal to return Silvertown Quays to its former glory will bring thousands of new homes and jobs back to east London. It will also make the Docklands a must go visitor destination helping to unlock the economic potential of surrounding areas.”

Elliot Lipton of The Silvertown Partnership said, “The Silvertown will create a new waterside destination for London where people can interact with the range of brands, alongside restaurants, galleries, shops and homes all set in a beautifully landscaped and attractive environment which will make the most of the dock’s features. As a centre for innovation, The Silvertown will also allow global brands to showcase their products and be a thriving place for people to live, work and visit.

“Stand-alone brand pavilions have been built for the last decade around the world but this will be the first time that a brand park has been developed. Brands are constantly seeking flexible, large-scale and accessible spaces to develop high value brand encounters with their audiences. These pavilions will also allow global brands to influence the online spending decisions of customers, which will be worth up to a total value of £221bn by 2016. We look forward to working in partnership with the GLA, LB Newham, local residents and businesses to create this exciting new location in London.”

Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham said: “We welcome this deal to transform Silvertown Quays, a major part of the Royal Docks into a vibrant, world-class destination. The 50-acre site is ideally positioned as a gateway to the rest of London and Europe with access to City airport and the London transport network which will soon benefit from the arrival of Crossrail.

"The Royal Docks Enterprise Zone offers an unrivalled investment opportunity on a scale unmatched anywhere else in Europe and this development further strengthens Newham’s growing reputation as the destination of choice for business and innovation.

"This proposal will help to unlock future developments and investment. It will also create thousands of new jobs for Newham residents and with a young and energetic workforce, we are ideally placed to accommodate much of London’s eastwards growth in the 21st century.”

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Notes to editors

• The Silvertown Partnership were selected as preferred developer for the Silvertown Quays site in 2012. They’ve now signed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) with the GLA. An outline planning application is now being prepared and will be submitted to the London Borough of Newham in the next 12 months.

• The £1.5bn deal relates to the estimated gross development value of the development.

• The Mayor, who inherited over 600 hectares of land as a result of the Localism Act in April 2012, is currently one of the largest owners of public land in London. He is determined to bring more public land, like this site, forward for development.

• The Silvertown Partnership, a consortium of Chelsfield Properties and First Base Ltd, recognises that global brands are looking for ways to captivate their audiences with powerful, memorable experiences that can set them apart from their competitors. Equally, consumers want to be educated and stimulated, they want information to be disseminated in new ways by demonstrations, workshops, understanding how products work, how they coordinate, how life will change. This vision to create engaging brand experiences that, in turn, generate unprecedented brand value, advocacy and targeted consumer engagement is the basis for the vision for the brand pavilions. The Silvertown brand pavilions will be a creative and cultural launch pad, a place organised around global brand showcases, with global renown and synonymous with innovation.

• The UK is one of the most internet-based economies in the world and by 2016 23% of all purchases will be online. Brand pavilions will also allow global brands to influence the online spending decisions of customers.

• The Silvertown brand pavilions and a range of waterfront activities will be a hub, a thriving destination and a new heart for the Royal Docks, for Londoners and visitors alike. A changing programme of events and content will renew and refresh the experience of The Silvertown, keeping it up to date and relevant to changing audiences, encouraging repeat visits.

• The Silvertown Partnership (TSP) team has a considerable track record for place making – creating exciting, vibrant space for people to live and work. They have substantial resources in delivering high quality homes and creating places across the capital and work with some of the world’s most celebrated architects, public and private sector organisations to deliver innovatively designed and quality homes and spaces that achieve high levels of public demand. The partners have been responsible for a number of notable London developments including Broadgate, Chiswick Park and currently a large part of Waterloo.

• The Silvertown Partnership is working with renowned masterplanners Arup and leasing and commercial property managers, Jones Lang LaSalle and Cushman and Wakefield.

• The GLA were advised by Knight Frank and The Silvertown Partnership by Jones Lang LaSalle and Cushman

• Situated in the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, the Silvertown Quays site, when complete, will have some of the best transport links in the capital, with direct access to central (10mins) and western London (17mins) via the new Crossrail station coming in 2018. It also benefits from close proximity to the University of East London and City Airport, providing direct links to Europe’s key business and leisure destinations.

• The Royal Docks lies within the stretch of land running from Stratford down the River Lea to the Thames, an ‘arc of opportunity’ with £22 billion of development potential. It is home to ExCeL, the international exhibition and convention centre and London City Airport. The Mayors of London and the London Borough of Newham have set out a joint vision to develop the Royal Docks.

• The Royal Docks 'Vision & Strategy' was published in July 2010 - a jointly agreed approach between the Mayor of London and the Mayor of Newham setting out the key objectives which has formed the direction for the regeneration of this strategically important area, building on the momentum of progress achieved with the opening of the Olympic Park and Stratford City and the continuing investment in Canning Town - all key projects in the evolution of London - 'City East'.

• The Royal Docks was granted Enterprise Zone status from April 2012 in recognition of its strategic importance. • 50ha rates relief (if in area by April 2015)

• Enhanced Capital Allowances at RAD (up to April 2017) – good for capital intense industry e.g. biotech

• Simplified planning – GLA/LBN/TfL/Developer Project Planning Performance Agreement

• Broadband – part of successful £25m Urban Broadband Fund bid (up to 1gb/ps if there is demand)

• Business rate uplift retention for 25 years

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