Silvertown Quays set to become 'innovation hub'
by Jim Dunton Wed 12th June 2013, 2:15 pm
Part of the Royal Docks is set to be redeveloped as a £1.5 billion "innovation hub" that will boast a cluster of brand pavilions, London mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed.
Under an agreement reached with developers Chelsfield Properties and First Base, 50 acres of Silvertown Quays will be redeveloped as a housing, business and leisure district with the destination attraction of a purpose-built showcases for some of the world’s most famous brands at its heart.
Announcing the development agreement this week, Johnson said the scheme would create more than 9,000 jobs, and bring more than 1,500 new homes to the site, along with incubator space for fledgling firms, premises for technology businesses, new shops, restaurants and leisure attractions.
At the scheme’s centre will be a “grand avenue” of brand pavilions, that will be marketed to some of the world's biggest firms as showcases for their latest products and research. The proposals also include the construction of a new bridge linking the quay with the ExCel exhibition centre.
The Silvertown Partnership - a consortium created by Chelsfield and First Base to deliver the project - said Munich’s BMW World, Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse, and South Korea’s Samsung Experience were examples of the kind of firms envisaged for the development.
Johnson said the deal, which follows on the heels of last month’s agreement to set up a new business district with ABP China at another site in the Royal Docks, demonstrated that the area's regeneration continued 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,” he said.
“It will also make the Docklands a visitor destination, helping to unlock the economic potential of surrounding areas.”
Elliot Lipton, managing director of First Base, said stand-alone brand pavilions had been built around the world for the past decade but that Silvertown would 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,” he said.
Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales said Silvertown Quays were “ideally positioned” as a gateway to the rest of London and to Europe, with access to City Airport and the London transport.
“This proposal will help to unlock future developments and investment,” he said.
The Silvertown Partnership said it expected to lodge an outline planning application for the scheme within the next 12 months.
It said construction was expected to begin on-site in 2014-15, with the first businesses opening in 2017.