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London's Biggest Office-Growth Hotspot

South Bank
22 December 2022

Lambeth is set for London’s biggest increase in office space over the next decade with an estimated six million square feet of extra space for business set to be created. A report commissioned by Lambeth Council details this expansion, and how it supports the borough’s growth priorities and delivers space fit for the future of work.

The report “Lambeth: The Future of Sustainable Work” shows how expansion supports the council’s bold ambitions to foster well-paid jobs in growth sectors for the borough’s young people, to achieve its Net Zero by 2030 outcome and to create an environment for local entrepreneurs to flourish.


"The borough has long been a globally recognised cultural centre for London that is much loved by its residents as well as visitors from across London and beyond. It is now evolving to also be a world-class, sustainable workspace destination.”


– Cllr Danny Adilypour
Cabinet Member for Sustainable Growth and New Homes



Alluring for Investment


Existing and start-up businesses in the life sciences sector, the low carbon economy and creative and digital industries are already gravitating to Lambeth, particularly around the borough’s dynamic neighbourhoods of Brixton, Waterloo/South Bank and Vauxhall/Nine-Elms.

The expansion of office space is set to support further growth in these areas by creating flexible working environments that support collaboration, meet high sustainability standards and enable a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of all workers.

The driver of this growth in Lambeth, as highlighted in the report, is that the borough is incredibly well connected with excellent transport links, has a diverse, ambitious population and a creative streak that shines in the emerging tech industries which are set to provide future-proof, well-paid jobs.


Established Hotspot


Lambeth has a host of significant occupiers across Waterloo, including IBM, Europe’s largest WeWork, The Office Group and Royal Dutch Shell plc, signalling confidence in the area as an office destination. The Battersea, Nine-Elms and Vauxhall Opportunity Area is also host to big employers, including Penguin Random House and Apple.

SC1, London’s Life Science District in Waterloo, has the potential to create 50,000 jobs by 2050 and is set to expand. Brixton, one of London’s Creative Enterprise Zones, is home to creative businesses Squire and Partners and Jellyfish Studios. Lambeth Council is also investing in the low-carbon sector through Sustainable Ventures at County Hall, the largest start-up space for sustainable businesses in Europe.

“Lambeth is set to unlock its potential over the next decade," said Cllr Danny Adilypour, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Growth and New Homes. "The borough has long been a globally recognised cultural centre for London that is much loved by its residents as well as visitors from across London and beyond. It is now evolving to also be a world-class, sustainable workspace destination.”


Connected Catchment of Talent


Lambeth is highly connected by rail, tube and bus and is home to Waterloo, the UK’s busiest train station. Its local population is young, ambitious and aspirational. It is also highly accessible for people from a wider area with excellent active travel networks for cycling and walking, and has around 9.8 million people within an hour of Waterloo Station by public transport. The one-hour maximum travel catchment for Vauxhall is for 8.8 million and 7.8 million for Brixton. In Lambeth a quarter or more of residents within a 30-minute walk of Waterloo, Vauxhall or Brixton are between 25 and 34 years old.


Reprioritising Wellbeing


Lambeth benefits from a riverside public realm and 19 Green Flag-winning parks and gardens – the international benchmark standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces. Over the next four years, a further £10m of public realm improvements are planned by Lambeth council together with a new masterplan for Waterloo Station and its surrounding area in conjunction with Network Rail and private partners.

Elaine Rossall, Head of UK Offices Research at JLL, explained how priorities for many business premises have shifted. “Covid-19 had untold effects on the property market around the world, in the UK and London in particular,” she said. “There is strong evidence from our research of trends and the qualitative discussions with businesses and developers that a “flight to quality” is taking place, with employers and employees seeking a greater experience focussed on their health and wellbeing, opportunities to use the office for collaboration, and increased emphasis on sustainability and net zero. 

"Whilst Lambeth has experienced a period of office market decline in the last decade, with an ageing stock, it is now emerging from this with a significant pipeline of new high-quality, sustainable and flexible commercial space, building on its existing assets of transport connectivity, cultural amenity and a highly skilled workforce catchment.”


Picture: South Bank. Image credit: Lambeth Council.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 22 December 2022


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