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Canary Wharf Group has unveiled plans for its five million square feet Wood Wharf development, which will dedicate two million square feet of office space to fast-growing scaleups.
The group claims that creating this workspace for entrepreneurs and innovative businesses will bring 20,000 new jobs to the region – possibly attracting a larger number of tech jobs than in the entire city of Cambridge.
The development, which will create one of the largest clusters of tech and creative businesses in the UK, is expected to generate £2bn from the new jobs and inject a further £199m into the local small business economy.
According to the ScaleUp Institute, which collaborates with corporate partners and policy-makers to build effective business environments, one of the biggest issues facing companies in Britain is a lack of physical infrastructure.
Commenting on the development, Jacqueline de Rojas, president of TechUK, said: “London’s tech sector has grown at an extraordinary rate over the past five years.
“Tech companies have consistently broken records in terms of investment, job creation and revenue growth. The city needs infrastructure to accommodate this rapid expansion, and Wood Wharf seems the perfect environment for startups and scaleups with global ambitions.”
The development is set to expand upon Level39, an innovation space established in 2013 by the Canary Wharf Group to support early-stage businesses in the finance, cyber security and smart city technology sectors through the provision of high-quality infrastructure.
“Canary Wharf Group has reinvented London’s business landscape once, and with Wood Wharf we intend to do so again for the era of fast-growth tech and creative businesses,” said George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive of Canary Wharf Group. “With the intention of creating 20,000 jobs, this will be a major investment in London’s infrastructure and a home for the people shaping the future of this great city.”
Wood Wharf has already secured business tenants such as Ennismore, owner of the Hoxton Hotels group, and The Office Group, and is currently in talks with a range of tenants from the technology, cultural and education industries.
These new tenants will join the existing Canary Wharf estates’ tenants, such as eToro and Ripple, which have found a home in the Level39 innovation space.
Designed to meet the highest possible sustainability standards, the Wood Wharf development will also be targeting zero carbon and zero waste, and will continue Canary Wharf Group’s commitment to becoming the world’s first plastic-free community, which was announced in June.
There are also plans to build 3,600 residential homes within the development, 25% of which will be affordable housing.