Royal Albert Dock set to become London’s third business district under £1bn deal

View of Royal Albert Docks

View of Royal Albert Docks - Credit: Archant

London Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled details of a £1bn deal to transform London’s historic docklands into the capital’s next business district forging links with China.

The state-of-the-art business district at Royal Albert Dock will act as a platform for financial, high-tech and knowledge driven industries, and will be largest development of its kind in the UK.

It is set to become the third financial district in the capital after the City and Canary Wharf, creating tens of thousands of jobs.

Owned by the Greater London Authority the 35-acre site will be transformed by commercial developer ABP Chinese (Holding) into a gateway for Asian and Chinese business seeking to establish headquarters in Europe, along with other businesses wanting to set up in the capital.

The deal is believed to be worth £6bn to the UK economy, generating £23m in business rates annually and acting as a catalyst for further development in the area.

Mr Johnson said: “For centuries the waterways of east London were the throbbing arteries of UK trade and commerce. This deal symbolises the revival of that great era, continuing the re-invention of this once maligned part of the capital into a 21st century centre of trade and investment.”

The deal is expected to deliver around 20,000 full-time jobs and boost local employment in Newham by 30 per cent.

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Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: “The Royal Docks Enterprise Zone offers an unrivalled investment opportunity and this deal further strengthens Newham’s growing reputation as an ideal destination for international business.”

The deal represents one of the first direct investment by a Chinese developer in London’s property market.

Chairman of ABP, Mr Xu, said: “My vision is to develop a world class international business district which will initially target Asian businesses to help them secure a destination in London, which in China is seen as the gateway to both the United Kingdom and the wider European economy. Our plans aim to strengthen trade between east and west, provide new local jobs and deliver benefits for the wider London and UK economy.”

The area will become home to over 3.2 million square feet of high quality work, retail and leisure space, including 2.5 million square feet of prime office space along London’s waterways.