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Regeneration Projects: Southern England

London is the South of England’s largest and most important economic driver. The international financial hub is also a major European and global business destination. In the coming years, several regeneration projects will continue to reinforce the capital’s position as an economic powerhouse.

New Covent Garden Market

One such project is the New Covent Garden Market. In addition to developing up to 2,800 new homes, the £2 billion project will redevelop an estimated 115,000 square feet of commercial space. Construction on New Covent Garden began in 1971 and it opened in 1974 as the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK. Forty years later, the site is now being developed to provide a better experience for businesses and visitors. Once complete, the redeveloped New Covent Garden Market will serve as a gateway to Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea and the project will help transform the area as an exciting place to do business and live. Nearby developments include the new Embassy of the United States and the redevelopment of Battersea Power Generation. For more information go to


In East London, the Silvertown regeneration project at the Royal Docks area has the potential to add more than four million square feet of commercial spaces. The site could also see the addition of almost 3,000 new homes. Silverton is planned as a multi-phase project and the 25-hectare (62-acre) site has the potential development cost of £3.5 billion. It is already connected to leading commercial developments such as London City Airport and the Excel Centre and will be a five minute walk from the Custom House Crossrail station, which is scheduled to open in 2018. Silvertown includes Millennium Mills, a new home for 150 innovative businesses with flexible workspaces. For more information go to

Heart of Slough

Slough is the third most productive town in the United Kingdom, according to the UK government’s Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO). The Heart of Slough project will reinforce the town’s position as a gateway to the Thames Valley. It will also advance the town’s position as a major hub for business in the South East of England, which is the UK’s second largest regional economic contributor.

The Heart of Slough project will create a new commercial district. With major infrastructure already upgraded in recent years, plans now include the addition of up to 70,000 square metres of Grade A office space next to Slough’s new Crossrail station. Crossrail will link the town with central London by 2018, while the new Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRAtH) line will provide connections to Heathrow Airport within six minutes by 2020. The regeneration project includes the development of 1,600 new homes, a 120-bed hotel, and retail and leisure opportunities. A new cultural centre and library, The Curve, is also being built as part of the project and is expected to open in September 2016. A new bus station at the site was completed in 2011.

Centre for Advanced Knowledge Engineering (CAKE)

West Norfolk is strategically located within a 35-minute rail journey to the centre of Cambridge and London. Improvements to rail and road links will improve commute times, while the installation of high speed broadband will provide internet connection speeds of over 300GB. The Centre for Advanced Knowledge Engineering (CAKE) will provide sustainable regeneration in the town and attract talent from around the world. The project will transform 29 hectares (72 acres) on the former RAF Downham Market site into a new commercial, education and research campus with 12 buildings. The project will create a new centre for the growing knowledge engineering sector and provide world class facilities for innovation in data analytics, data security and digital forensics.

Plans for the Centre for Advanced Knowledge Engineering include a spin-out and start-up incubator centre, a student hall of residence and the Institute of Data Science Building. There will also be a hotel, retail, leisure and tourism spaces. The site will also feature a new conference centre that will be capable of hosting major national and international events. The RIO estimates the project will create 1,500 temporary jobs and up to 4,600 permanent jobs. CAKE is being led by a consortium of universities including Cambridge, the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT), and the College of East Anglia. Construction commenced in 2015 and is expected to be complete by 2017-18.

Royal Haslar Regeneration Project

While many projects in the south are focusing on specific sectors, the Royal Haslar regeneration project aims to provide physical, economic, social and cultural renewal to Gosport. The project is in planning phases and developers are looking for funding partners to move it forward. The Royal Hospital Haslar was completed in 1762 and served as a military hospital for the Royal Navy. The site features several Georgian-style listed buildings set on 25 hectares (61 acres) of parkland that overlook the sea. The plan is to redevelop the historic property and create new commercial, residential and healthcare spaces. Royal Haslar’s plans feature a new 78-bed hotel and conference facility, a 65-bed business hotel, and a range of small and flexible office units. The project will also add medical practitioner spaces as well as retirement residence and care home options. For more information go to


Further Reading on Regeneration Projects throughout the UK:

Regeneration Projects: Central England

Regeneration Projects: Northern England

Regeneration Projects: London


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