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Pladis picks Chiswick Park

After 21 years, pladis, one of the world’s leading snacking companies, will be relocating its global head office to Chiswick Park, in the summer of 2021.

pladis brands include McVitie’s and Jacob’s. The company employs 16,000 worldwide and operates 25 baking locations. The new office will also be home to the UK&I regional office, led by David Murray.

As a fast-growing, global company, pladis’ new 28,000 sq ft workspace has been purpose-designed to meet the businesses’ needs and, say Chiswick Park, will be a place to work, share, collaborate and belong.

Salman Amin, Chief Executive Officer said: “We have been looking for an office space which better reflects our needs and our ambition to be a defining snacking company of the 21st century. The new office will be much more than just a place for us to work, it will be a space where we can truly showcase our exceptional portfolio and grow and inspire our ambitious team.

“Chiswick Park is in a great location that will be appealing for current and future talent, and we are looking forward to welcoming our pladis colleagues and partners to our new home.”

“We are delighted to welcome pladis to Chiswick Park. The company is a perfect fit for our Campus and will connect with an exclusive group of like-minded businesses and individuals. We look forward to pladis joining our collaborative workplace community,” said Matt Coulson, CEO Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work.

pladis will join a number of other brands already situated in Chiswick Park, including Danone, Discovery, Pernod Ricard and Starbucks.

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LondonMetric buy in Alperton

LondonMetric Property has bought a logistics warehouse in Alperton.

The 20,000 sq ft warehouse has been acquired for £7.7 million. It is currently let to Ford as a service and parts centre and has been comprehensively refurbished. The building is just outside the A406 North Circular in Alperton between Perivale, Wembley and Park Royal.

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Oxenwood and AIMCo buy in Acton

Oxenwood Real Estate and its joint venture partner Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) have acquired a 4.7-acre site at 16 Eastman Road in Acton, currently home to Freshways.

The joint venture, which was set up at the beginning of 2017, targets value-add logistics opportunities in the UK.

The site has been acquired from the owner occupier, RSN Property, part of the same group as Freshways. It is currently home to a 100,000 sq ft milk processing and bottling facility, which has been leased back to RSN, the UK’s largest independent processing dairy, to allow the relocation of RSN’s business.

Oxenwood says it will work up plans for a new 100,000 sq ft facility, which it will aim to pre-let to a single occupier working in the last-mile distribution sector.

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Romulus refinances Shortlands

Romulus has said that it has successfully completed the refinancing of one its flagship Hammersmith office building.

The group own and manage over 700,000 sq ft of prime office, retail, hotel and leisure space in London and America. They have secured a £55 million refinancing from German commercial bank, Helaba for their fully-let, 175,000 sq ft, 3 Shortlands office in Hammersmith.

Romulus bought the building in 2016, and has since refurbished it. Tenants include Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Love Holiday, Formula E, Bullion Vault and Jac Travel. Romulus’s coworking brand, Huddle, also has space in the building.

The scheme provides a mix of traditional and flexible occupation as well as a wide range of amenities and refurbishments including a new double-height reception and café, event spaces, gym, swimming pool, extensive outdoor and more.

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COVID Mutant Monitoring labs installed at White City Place

A sequencing laboratory for COVID mutant monitoring has been temporarily installed on the Gateway East site at White City Place to help in the fight against the pandemic. This is located alongside a larger installation also today of rapid response shipping-container laboratories for COVID19 PCR testing.

This is the first time a dedicated testing and sequencing laboratory will be deployed together. Although the UK has some of the most advanced DNA sequencing capability, sequencing of the COVID genome is still limited and more capacity is needed. The concern is that more mutations may occur and that vaccines may not be effective on these variants. Mutations in the region of the viral genome responsible for the “spike protein” are causing particular concern and have already been identified in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Brazil.

Biotechnology company OpenCell, with existing operations in White City, designed and manufactured the units within shipping containers with a custom workflow for COVID diagnostics. They have shipped a number of the same units internationally and currently provide airport PCR testing for the Isle of Jersey. By basing the units as close as possible to the point of need they are capable of a turnaround time of 12 hours from swab to result for local residents and workers.

Since opening in 2017, Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo’s White City Place has quickly emerged as one of the UK’s leading life science and biotech hubs alongside the new Imperial College campus. A host of innovative and industry leading companies have moved their headquarters and laboratories to the site, including the global pharmaceutical firm Novartis, Autolus and other life sciences companies such as Synthace, Gamma Delta and Engitix. In 2020, White City Place, not including the Gateway site, was acquired by Cadillac Fairview, the real estate arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Jonathan Trout, Property and Commercial Director, Stanhope said: “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with OpenCell to help play our part in the fight against COVID-19 and to make available this space at our life sciences hub at White City Place. This is the first time that dedicated testing and DNA sequencing laboratories have been deployed together and is indicative of the enterprising spirit and innovation that White City Place has become known for.”

Helene Steiner, OpenCell CEO, stated: “We are proud to support the UK in this most challenging time with laboratories capable of thousands of tests daily, delivered efficiently and at the point of need. White City is the heart of biotech in the UK and this is the optimal location to provide the shortest possible turnaround time for those within the catchment radius of 3 miles.”

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Hammersmith BID goes to reballot

The Hammersmith Business Improvement District is seeking re-election, as it has to every five years. All businesses within the BID area will decide if they want the organisation to continue its work around Hammersmith town centre. The BID has consulted with those businesses and published a business plan.

The BID has already been re-elected twice, in 2011 and 2016. This time it is promising a suite of continued and new project areas under three main headings; Public Realm and Green Investment; Security and Resilience; and Community and Partnerships.

The plan promises to invest in green infrastructure whilst supporting and lobbying for further improvements to the public realm. They plan to continue their security initiatives and include new safety priorities, primarily around public health concerns and visitor confidence. Managing crowds, social distancing, and cleanliness in the town centre will be more important than ever to build up reassurance. They also promise to continue to develop partnerships where possible, deliver a varied events programme and build on existing connections, while marketing Hammersmith as a business destination to a broad audience.

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Edgware consultation open

Harrow Council, working with Barnet Council, is consulting on a planning document which hopes to shape the future of Edgware town centre.

The Draft Edgware Growth Area Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sets out the planning framework to support the redevelopment of key sites aiming to reinforce the role of the high street, provide new public spaces and make the street environment more attractive.

It aims to improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists, and provide opportunities for new homes, including affordable housing.

A six-week public consultation period on the proposals will continue until Monday, February 22, 2020.

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Search for development partner underway as 850-home TfL Acton scheme approved

A new development by Bollo Lane in Acton has been given the go-ahead by Ealing Council, and will provide hundreds of new high-quality and affordable homes in the local area.

The masterplan, designed in collaboration with architects HOK and East and engineers Mott MacDonald, covers a 3.6 hectare site and spans from Acton Town station in the north to the level crossing towards Chiswick.

The development, TfL’s largest to date, will provide 852 new homes spread over nine buildings. TfL will now begin the search for a developer partner.

The affordable homes will consist of a combination of homes available at a range of affordable rents, such as discounted market rent and London Affordable Rent, and shared ownership properties.

The proximity of the site to Acton Town, Chiswick Park and South Acton stations means new residents will have easy links to central London with the Piccadilly, District and London Overground lines.

The area around the new homes has been designed to deliver long-term positive change and sustainability for the local community. As well as looking to incorporate renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, the designs include multiple gardens and new play spaces that the local community as well as residents can enjoy.

The local community will also benefit from improvements to the area that will make it easier for them to travel sustainably too whether by bike or foot. The designs incorporate a new continuous, widened footpath alongside the west side of Bollo Lane, making it much easier and safer to walk along.

It will be made easier to cross the road too with new crossing points, which will include tactile paving and dropped kerbs to support those with accessibility needs. The designs also allow for the provision of a new cycle zone, alongside new cycle parking.

The site will also provide more than 2,300 sqm of commercial space, which TfL say could be used as maker-space by local businesses, and additional retail space.

The proposals form part of TfL’s wider housing programme, which will provide more than 10,000 homes across the capital as well as a commitment to deliver 50% affordable housing on average across all sites brought to the market since May 2016.

Jonathan Cornelius, Head of Property Development at TfL, said: “The proposals have been designed to reflect the area’s heritage and context, such as the Grade II-listed station next to it, and will bring hundreds of much-needed homes to this part of London.

“The scheme has also been designed to benefit the local community with welcoming green spaces, improvements to pedestrian and cycling facilities and new commercial opportunities for local businesses.

“Securing this latest green light at planning committee is an important milestone as it is the largest site on which we have secured planning ourselves. We will shortly be approaching the market for a partner as we strive to deliver these homes – including hundreds of new affordable homes – as fast as we can.”

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Chance for suppliers to take part in virtual Brent Meet the Buyer events

Businesses across Brent are being invited to take part in two Meet the Buyer events that are being held virtually in January and February.

Square Stone Hub and United Living are looking to meet Brent-based suppliers virtually and agree contracts to help them deliver their developments and play a role in the borough’s regeneration.

The events, taking place on 27 January and 10 February, have been organised by Brent Council initiative Brent for Business, which showcases the opportunities for business growth in the west London borough, which is undergoing a multi-billion-pound programme of regeneration.

Square Stone Hub’s session on 27 January, will see the developer meet with dryliners, carpenters, tilers, painters and plumbers to work on their 256-home Wembley Link development.

On 10 February, United Living will be looking for roofers, brickworkers, dryliners, cladding specialists, balustrading experts and carpenters for their 61-home, independent living, Honeypot Lane development.

To sign up and book your place, email info@brentmeetthebuyer.co.uk

Councillor Shama Tatler, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning at Brent Council said: “At Brent Council we are committed to supporting local businesses, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to be working with United Living and Square Stone Hub by providing opportunities for local businesses to work on upcoming developments in the borough.

“It is vital that development in Brent benefits the borough as a whole. These upcoming Meet the Buyer events will allow developers and suppliers to expand their networks, create new opportunities and grow. Please take advantage of these opportunities and sign up to the events to ensure you have the chance to play a part in Brent’s growth.”

For more information on Brent Meet the Buyer, visit www.brentmeetthebuyer.co.uk and if developers of Brent-based sites are interested in hosting a similar event, email info@brentmeetthebuyer.co.uk

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New leader for Hillingdon

Cllr Ian Edwards has been appointed the new Leader of Hillingdon Council. Cllr Edwards, who was elected as a councillor in 2014, has replaced Cllr Sir Ray Puddifoot MBE – the council’s longest serving leader.

In October 2020, Cllr Puddifoot announced his intention to stand down. He will remain a ward member for Ickenham, where he has served as a councillor since 1998, until the next election in May 2022.

Councillor Edwards (pictured top row, left) has named his Cabinet. Cllr Jonathan Bianco (top row, second left) becomes Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Property and Infrastructure, while Cllr Eddie Lavery  (bottom row, left) takes the Environment, Housing and Regeneration portfolio. Cllr Douglas Mills (top row, second right) becomes Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Transformation while Cllr John Riley (bottom row, second right) takes on Public Safety and Transport.

 

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Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work Launches New Sustainability Strategy

Chiswick Park, the business campus located in West London, has launched Enjoy-Work Together, a new Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) strategy for 2021.

The ESG strategy assesses the impact of the sustainability and ethical practices of the business. Each ESG factor is integrated to the key corporate areas, aiming at supporting a long-term sustainable and responsible business.

Chiswick Park has been working on its environmental impact since its launch over 20 years ago. It was part of the Enjoy-Work Tomorrow CSR strategy. This includes the 5-year energy management plan, the use of renewable energy sources, the waste management programme and biodiversity practices.

“In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for sustainable strategies made us adapt. As a business, we want to create opportunities to expand our offering of responsible solutions in collaboration with our Guests and partners. Now more than ever is the time for all of us to work together to make the changes needed to mitigate climate change and operate in a more sustainable way,” said Matt Coulson, CEO Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work.

Chiswick Park brings together over 10,000 people from 75 of some of the world’s leading companies such as Discovery, Paramount Pictures, IMG, Starbucks, and Pernod Ricard. Designed with wellbeing in mind, the Campus provides an environment where people take pleasure in working and are therefore more productive in their work. Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work is constantly looking for new ways to improve the campus and make it the most engaging and innovation workplace environment possible.

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Red start work on Brent Cross pavilion

RED Construction has been appointed by Argent Related and Barnet Council to deliver Brent Cross Town’s visitor pavilion as part of the £5bn town centre development.

RED Construction commenced work in late December on an 8,000 sq ft, three-storey, temporary visitor centre on Claremont Way in Brent Cross to showcase the town’s masterplan. Designed by Moxon Architects, the building aims to capture and communicate the ambitious scale of Brent Cross Town, which will, say its developers, become a new park town for London and establish a “new standard for large-scale urban regeneration”.

Brent Cross Town will deliver 6,700 new homes for sale and for rent, alongside restaurants, sports and leisure facilities, and will be a major new office destination.

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Master Brewer escapes call-in

Inland Homes has said that the planning application for its Hillingdon Gardens development at the former Master Brewer site will not be called in by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The site has been the subject of third-party requests to call in for determination by the Secretary of State but it has been decided that the application for 514 homes can be determined at a local level by the Greater London Authority. The site was approved by the Mayor of London in September 2020 and will now proceed subject to the signing of a Section 106 agreement.

The plans for Hillingdon Gardens will now create a residentially led, mixed-use neighbourhood on a derelict former commercial site next to Hillingdon station.  The project will deliver 182 (35%) affordable homes as well as make contributions to local infrastructure improvements and biodiversity.

The Hillingdon Gardens scheme is part of Inland Home’s asset management division.

Stephen Wicks, CEO of Inland Homes, commented: “The former Master Brewers site is a brownfield site that has been vacant for 11 years. We can now actively progress delivering the scheme, which is supportive of the Government’s housebuilding agenda, delivering much needed affordable homes and revitalising a vacant site. “

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Chiswick High Road building sold

DTZ Investors has sold 326-334 Chiswick High Road to Farm Street Capital for £11.6m.

The multi-let building contains two retail units and nine flats, currently for private rent. The shops are let to Robert Dyas and Boot.

Farm Street say they aim to purchase prime, well-located assets on short leases. Both retailers in the Chiswick building are in sectors thought to be resilient to COVID, and outer London locations – local high streets – are expected to benefit from working from home and a trend to ‘shop local’.

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Hounslow creatives get new network

Hounslow Council is collaborating with Creative People & Places Hounslow, Creative Enterprise West, and film/TV producer, Carl Schoenfeld, to provide a free development programme that aims to give producers and freelancers the confidence to reach their creative and business potential during challenging times.

Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, said: “We know that the creative industry has been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you are considering growing your creative business, this is the perfect opportunity to join an exciting new initiative, where you get to meet a small group of creative producers to tackle similar issues, share insights and support one another.

“You’ll also have access to expert advice from Carl Schoenfeld, an award-winning TV and film producer and BAFTA voting member, about how you can expand your business and build relationships in the industry.”

The purpose of the West London Creative Producers programme is to intensify individual practices, establish initiatives, build lasting relationships with other creative producers and create positive differences to creative business through unpredictable times.

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Argent Related unveils first office buildings at Brent Cross Town

Argent Related has shown the designs for the first three office buildings at Brent Cross Town.

The developer says the designs set “a new standard for workspace in London”, and aim to bring together businesses who will benefit from their co-location as part of the £5bn, 180-acre new neighbourhood.

Argent say the design of London’s next major office destination responds to the new ways of working and “is embedded in an ethos of quality of life for everyone working, living and visiting Brent Cross Town”.

The offices will be located next to 50 acres of parks and playing fields along with 6,700 new homes, restaurants, leisure, shops, sport facilities, schools and student accommodation.

Argent plan that at Brent Cross Town, occupiers and their customers and employees will be able to enjoy workspace with four key benefits – a “value network”, connections to knowledge clusters, a productive workforce, and zero carbon office space.

The value network will come, say Argent, from bringing together innovative companies, academic organisations, start-ups and scale-ups to create a new, market-leading business ecosystem that on completion will total some 3m sq ft of space for c. 25,000 workers. They say the ecosystem will bring together a range of sectors who share a desire to be part of a network greater than their own and hold common values of championing quality of life and sustainability.

Served by the new Brent Cross West station that connects to King’s Cross St Pancras in 12-minutes, and the Northern line via Brent Cross underground station, Brent Cross Town is well connected to the life-science, tech and creative businesses that form the King’s Cross – Euston ‘Knowledge Quarter’ and Tech City at Old Street, and to the Oxford-Cambridge Arc that is home to market leading organisations in engineering, bio-med, pharmaceuticals and technology.

Argent say Brent Cross Town will facilitate businesses in putting their employees’ wellbeing first, a vital part of a strategy to attract and retain the best talent, through its ‘Project Play’ initiative which includes providing access to 50 acres of green landscaped parks and playing fields, as well as the creation of new sport and leisure facilities. They have made a pledge to deliver a new North London town where all can flourish including businesses and employees. Together with the University of Manchester and Buro Happold, Argent Related has developed a pioneering study to measure individual and social wellbeing. This ‘Flourishing Index’ will give organisations based at Brent Cross Town valuable insight into the wellbeing and productivity of their employees.

Brent Cross Town has pledged to deliver a net zero carbon town by 2030, creating healthy working environments and supporting the sustainability agendas of its occupiers. It has partnered with Vattenfall, a leading European energy services company, to provide a reliable and affordable zero carbon heating network, with a view to removing all CO2-emitting sources. Brent Cross Town will also reduce embodied carbon by using cutting edge timber construction technologies in its office buildings.

The first three buildings are positioned around a new main square and adjacent to the entrance of the new Brent Cross West station that will be completed in 2022.

Number 2 Brent Cross Town aims to be a factory for new ideas and innovation. Its design by Hawkins\Brown architects has 103,000 sq ft of flexible floorplates, allowing start-up and scale-up businesses to become part of a collaborative community of creators. The seven-metre-high ground floor space is accessible to the public, encouraging residents and visitors to engage with the work inside through events and exhibitions. This building has a timber structure and will use zero carbon heating and cooling systems.

Number 3 Brent Cross Town is designed by ShedKM architects and provides 221,000 sq ft of office space, with an expansive double height reception offering easy access from the station entrance. Design features include a timber floor structure, flexible open floorplates leading onto balconies and a striking warehouse-style roof pavilion with wonderful terraces and far-reaching views of the parks and Hampstead Heath beyond.

Number 4 is Brent Cross Town’s beacon timber-framed building designed by Studio Egret West architects, providing 250,000 sq ft of flexible and well-lit floorplates, with a top-floor ‘lantern’ feature and a generous wrap-around rooftop balcony with panoramic views over the city. If required, numbers 3 and 4 can be connected to provide c. 500,000 sq ft of space, with expansive c. 45,000 sq ft floorplates. Their position at the gateway to Brent Cross Town suits major organisations with an outward-looking focus who value easy links to both central London and the rest of the UK.

Nick Searl, Partner of Argent Related and Joint-Lead of Brent Cross Town, says, “We believe the future of great work lies in collaboration, and that our cities need to provide high-quality space for employees and businesses to come together. Brent Cross Town will be created to enable a better work-life balance, to encourage active and outdoor lifestyles, while providing places for innovation, mentoring and meeting of minds that cannot be achieved working from home. We remain confident in the requirement for physical office space that can flex and evolve with the requirements of its occupiers.”

Ken Wong, COO and Director of International Development, Related, said, “As the nature of work changes, Grade-A offices in connected communities will become prime and the space we are delivering at Brent Cross Town will create a new ecosystem for business. Brent Cross Town offers a competitive advantage to organisations who understand that employee quality of life is vitally important to productivity and to the overall health of their business.”

Councillor Daniel Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “Brent Cross Town is an exciting development for Barnet. Its connectivity to the rest of the UK will help attract world-class businesses and talent to the borough, while boosting skills and employment locally. Our new 180-acre park town has been designed so businesses are supported by open spaces, community facilities, retail and new homes; responding to changing behaviours towards living and working.”

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Darin buys at Stockley Park

Darin Partners has bought 5 The Square, at Stockley Park, from M&G Real Estate for around £29m.

CoStar reports the building, occupied by Canon UK, Samsonite and Mitsubishi, has been sold close to the asking price of £29.4m. The 72,000-sq-ft building, originally built by Stanhope, is fully let at around £35 per sq ft. M&G bought the building in 2013.

Canon has recently moved its UK headquarters to Stockley Park from Reigate, signing for 37,000 sq ft at 5 The Square in 2020.

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Hounslow Council announces extra support for businesses

A new programme of business support is being launched to help town centre businesses trade safely and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The 12-week programme will help support the self-employed, pre-start, start-up and small businesses across all industries.

Online workshops, networking events, business clinics and one-to-one support will be offered free of charge to enable local businesses to access expert advice from specialist consultants.

The support will cover a range of issues including digitalisation, creating a new business model for growth, and the impact of Brexit on importing and exporting. The support will be provided online and is open to all businesses in the London Borough of Hounslow. Funding for this programme will be provided by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “The coming weeks and months will continue to be very challenging, and businesses in Hounslow are having to work very hard to adapt to this difficult environment. That’s why we’re announcing today’s extra support to help local businesses access the funding and specialist advice they need to put their businesses on a more sustainable footing.

“Hounslow Council has very ambitious plans to support the recovery of the borough as we come out of the pandemic. Central to that vision is thriving local businesses, so I want to say again to the self-employed and local businesses: we’re here for you. We will continue to listen to your needs as we work through this crisis together and we’ll deliver more support wherever there is the opportunity to do so.”

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Peabody to acquire 142 affordable homes at Television Centre

Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo have exchanged contracts with Peabody who will acquire 142 new affordable homes in two new buildings at Television Centre in White City.

The buildings form part of the wider Television Centre development which will eventually have around 950 homes in total. Stanhope is also the development manager for the JV.

Designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects, the new buildings will replace the existing former BBC multi-storey car park on Wood Lane, W12, opposite Westfield. The new buildings will provide 71 London Affordable Rent, 34 London Living Rent and 37 homes for Shared Ownership.

The existing car park will be demolished in 2021 with construction starting in 2022, and delivery expected in 2024. As well as the homes, the project will provide new public realm and retail space fronting Wood Lane. The retail will be retained by the JV. Peabody will be responsible for managing the homes when completed.

The JV is working closely with Transport for London, who own the adjacent arches below the elevated Hammersmith & City line, to help improve the wider area for the local community.

Jonathan Trout, Property & Commercial Director at Stanhope said “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts with Peabody and are looking forward to delivering much needed affordable homes for residents in Hammersmith & Fulham. Peabody share our long-term commitment for the area and we look forward to bringing forward the next phase of the project in due course.”

Simon Barry, Regional Development Director at Peabody said “This represents a fantastic opportunity to deliver high quality affordable homes in an excellent location. We have been closely involved through the early stages of design and look forward to working alongside the JV to help create great place to live within a thriving community in West London”.

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