Investors ‘flock’ to build new huge offices in City of London

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Investors are flocking to build new office spaces in the City of London and the number of major planning applications in the Square Mile has shot up.

The City of London Corporation has said the area is set to become a seven-day-a-week destination with footfall and visitor numbers continuing to rise after the pandemic.

Over 30 percent more major planning applications were submitted to the City of London Corporation during the Covid pandemic than in the three years before, new figures released today reveal.

The Corporation says the figures show the Square Mile continues to be a global business destination as investors continue to submit plans for new office buildings.

The City of London Corporation reported that 56 major planning applications were submitted in the Square Mile in 2020, 2021 and 2022 compared with 42 in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

In 2022 alone the City of London Corporation granted planning consent for 369,449 square metres of office space, 13,690 square metres of retail space, 49,726 square metres of community, education and cultural spaces and five new pedestrian routes.

In total 30 major developments were given permission in 2022 bringing in £78 million in public funding. The money means £19.6 million can be spent on affordable housing.

The number of jobs also reached a record high of 587,175 towards the tail end of the pandemic in 2021 compared to 522,730 in 2018, according to the City of London.

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New projects include the Museum of London, City of London Police HQ, 120 Fleet Street, 115-123 Houndsditch, and Thavies Inn.

Other projects include a new HQ for law firm Hogan Lovells at 14-21 Holborn Viaduct and towers at 50 Fenchurch Street, 55 Gracechurch Street and 70 Gracechurch Street,

The City of London generates £75 billion a year in tax revenue and accounts for 12 per cent of all UK GDP.

The City of London’s Policy Chairman Chris Hayward said: “Throughout the pandemic, we were confident that the City’s 1,000-year history as a business location was secure, and this is borne out by the planning figures we have released for the first time today.

“Global businesses continue to want a significant presence in the Square Mile, and United Kingdom-based and global developers and investors are flocking to provide a new type of highly sustainable, modern office space for these companies.

“The City of London is here to stay not just as a five-day-a-week location, but as a seven-day-a-week destination. In 2023, with Covid now fully behind us, we are seeing a consistent rise in footfall and visitors to the City throughout the week.”

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