This month, we submitted plans to Southwark Council that will see us invest £10m to bring 29 empty railway arches in Bermondsey back into use. Left empty for a decade, these arches are a key part of our development plan – Project 1000 – where we are investing £200million in order to bring a thousand empty and derelict spaces back into use by 2030.
Craig McWilliam, Chief Executive of The Arch Company, said: “Repurposing and bringing these arches back into use will restore 65,000 square feet of much needed light industrial workspace in Bermondsey that will help serve London’s economy. It is an important part of our Project 1000 scheme.”
The arches at Bermondsey Junction – those that face onto Corbett’s Lane, Corbett’s Passage and Silwood Street – have been vacant since June 2012. They were made vacant in connection with Network Rail’s Thameslink upgrade programme that simplified the railway routes operating in and out of London Bridge station and led to a new piece of railway infrastructure at Bermondsey dive-under being built. Following the completion of this project earlier this year, Network Rail has now handed the site back to The Arch Company.
Welcoming the proposals, Russell Dryden from the Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District, said: “Bermondsey is home to a rich array of small businesses within and around the railway arches. The Arch Company’s plans to redevelop the vacant arches at Bermondsey Junction will help to restore life, light and use to these spaces, creating more prosperity for people in South Bermondsey.”
We estimate bringing 29 vacant arches back into use could support an additional 145 jobs. This figure is based on previous estimates of arch-based businesses employing, on average, at least five people full time. Three of the 29 arches will be used as affordable workspaces to support small businesses and start-ups.
The proposals will provide a workplace community and much-needed light industrial, storage and business space in Southwark, as well as functional and flexible space that will attract a variety of businesses. Once planning is approved, we expect works to commence in 2023, with the units available to rent later that year.
Redevelopment of the arches will enhance the local environment to create a safer and more attractive location for neighbouring residents. Occupied arches are less of a target for squatters and are more likely to discourage anti-social behaviour.
If you’d like to learn more, a dedicated project website is hosted at www.bermondseyjunction-consultation.info includes details of the proposals. We spoke to local residents and their political representatives as part of a consultation exercise prior to submitting its plans to Southwark Council.
If you are interested in space to let in Bermondsey, please contact our Lettings team.