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The Weekly Wrap

City of London given green light for new Culture plans

A recent report reveals that plans have been approved to transform the area from Farringdon to Moorgate into an arts and culture hub for the Square Mile.

This will include the addition of art installations, new street furniture, creative lighting projects and increased green spaces. The development is expected to be for around 2-3 years.

The Culture Mile development will also feature works on Beech Street which will turn into a new public place around the Museum of London at West Smithfield and a pursuit of proposed Centre of Music.

The policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness said, “These plans are an essential step towards realising the physical transformation of Culture Mile.

“The area is currently dominated by vehicles and perceived by many to be hard to reach and difficult to navigate. These proposals set out an ambitious and exciting vision for the area which will create an unrivalled visitor experience, a welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy and a place where culture and learning are both created and consumed.”

Within the last year, the City of London Corporation and Fluid, a London design and creative agency has developed a ‘Look and Feel’ plans for Culture Mile. It has recently completed a structure for transforming the area by creating an “unrivalled visitor experience”.

The upcoming changes for the Culture Mile will show off the City’s vast history, wealthy of activity and cultural riches.

Office markets in the City of London remain 

CoStar reveals, City of London has reached 5.1m sq ft of office space take up at the end of the third quarter of 2018, with just 1% down on the same point in 2017 and 18% up on the 10-year average.

The under offer space in London’s West End market was 1.9m sq ft at the end of September, a record which should calm any negativity about Brexit.

At the end of third quarter, the average rent was £79.69 per sq ft which is on the same level as last year by 6.5% and it’s the highest annual average rent on record. Financial services and insurance companies have continued to be the main source of demand in the City having 20% of the office space taken at the end of Q3. The media and tech sector is at 19% while serviced office providers are responsible for 12%.

The office take up for the past year in the West End stood at 3.75m sq ft having 1.9m sq ft under offer which is a new high as 2018’s under offer figure is strongup to 109% on the long term average. The media and tech sector have been dominating the West End market this year being responsible for 45% of the take up.

Ambitious Local Plan released by The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee on the Square Mile's future development

The Local Plan (‘City Plan 2036’) is a vision of the area up until 2036, outlining several elements with regard to sustainability, improved transport, retail and culture for the City.

One major element is encouraging office floorspace that is flexible and adaptable to meet the demands of different types of business occupiers, enabling more incubators, start-ups and other small and medium-sized companies to set-up here. Furthermore, office space will be complemented by other commercial, cultural and retail growth wherever appropriate, adding to the City’s vibrant 24/7 evolution.

Together with the City’s first Transport Strategy, there is a greater emphasis on pavement space and prioritisation of pedestrians. Providing pedestrian routes through new buildings, similar to that seen at the new Bloomberg HQ and for the approved 1 Undershaft, will become more of a trend.

The City Plan 2036 identifies key areas of change, where the City Corporation is promoting continued sustainable growth with a particular emphasis, which include the following:

· The Eastern City Cluster will grow to close the gap between the isolated Walkie-Talkie and the rest of the cluster of towers, while introducing more animated ground floor spaces such as the recently completed £50m investment by the Tower 42 estate, in a new retail boulevard called The Avenue. Changes will also include pedestrian priority areas, a push for off-site consolidation and the re-timing of freight and deliveries outside of peak hours.

· The newly redeveloped Aldgate Square will be the focal point between Aldgate and Tower Gateway with plans for better cycling facilities, pedestrian connections and public transport capacity in the City of London.

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