East London enterprise zone hosts capital’s first Asian business leaders’ summit

  • Royal Albert Dock developer, ABP to host conference to explore emergence of East London as a business destination and the opportunities for Asian companies 
  • Summit marks one year milestone of the GLA deal with ABP to develop Royal Albert Dock as pioneering new business district 
  • Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, promotes Royal Docks Enterprise Zone 

A year on from signing a £1bn deal with the Mayor of London to transform Royal Albert Dock into the Capital’s next business district, ABP Chairman Mr Xu Weiping is today hosting a unique conference exploring the rapid emergence of East London as a business destination and the potential opportunities for Asian companies.

Plans for the 35-acre site from ABP and UK development manager Stanhope plc were submitted to Newham Council in April this year and will create a vibrant hub for people to work and live and a new gateway to Europe for businesses from Asia. This new type of district, located not in the city centre but in an area where businesses can grow and thrive, will set a new precedent for those that follow. Unrivalled transport connections mean that central London will be just minutes away by Crossrail and business leaders will also be able to attend meetings throughout Europe and be back at their desks the same afternoon.

The proposals, which have been masterplanned by architects Farrells, will also create up to 20,000 new jobs, a significant number of which will be available to local people.

The conference – ‘A Real Estate Revolution and Opportunity for Asian Business’ – is taking place in the heart of the Royal Albert Dock development site and forms part of the first UK China Business Leaders’ Summit. It will be attended by around 400 business leaders, including more than 150 delegates from China.

Royal Albert Dock is part of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone and Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, will deliver a keynote address emphasising the importance of the Enterprise Zone to this and other nearby schemes. The summit will also be joined by influential speakers Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property; Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham; and Xu Weiping, Chairman of ABP.

Subject to planning approval, construction at Royal Albert Dock could begin as early as 2015, with Phase 1 set for completion in 2018 – generating economic activity and a significant number of jobs over the next five years.

Chairman of ABP, Mr Xu Weiping, said: 

“East London is fast becoming one of capital’s most exciting places to do business and we believe that the new business district model we are creating at Royal Albert Dock will start a business revolution and a new way of working for future companies. 

“A year ago we signed the agreement with the Mayor of London and we have come a long way since. It is my pleasure to host this summit to open up opportunities in this part of London to Chinese and other Asian businesses. This is an emerging part of the capital with unrivalled transport connections and there are a number of other schemes planned or underway in the Royal Docks. Royal Albert Dock is the ideal place to create a thriving new business district and we are committed to transforming this brownfield site to deliver real benefits to the local area and to London.” 

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, said: 

“Enterprise Zones are part of our long term economic plan to secure a better future for people right across the country. 

“They are a major global investment opportunity. Many of the 24 Zones are already home to world-leading businesses and as their reputation grows they are attracting even more new interest from investors over the world. 

“Chinese businesses have already committed billions to Enterprise Zones in London and Manchester, and today is a chance to show them the potential of Enterprise Zones in other parts of the country.” 

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 

“The Royal Docks have been neglected for generations but this extraordinary investment is set to create the third great business district of the capital and yield 20,000 jobs. It will be of huge benefit to Londoners.” 

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: 

“The Royal Docks is the ideal venue to host this unique conference. With some of the best transport connections in London with London City Airport already located here and Crossrail arriving in 2018, the area offers an incredible investment opportunity. 

“We share ABP’s aim to make the Royal Docks a great place to do business and we already have the infrastructure and workforce in place to ensure this is realised. The area has the potential to create thousands of jobs for local residents. Workplace, our successful local recruitment service, can help fill these roles providing businesses with the well-trained employees they need. We will continue to work closely with ABP for the benefit of our residents and the economic growth of London.” 

For more information on the transformation of Royal Albert Dock and the opportunities available, please visit http://abp-london.co.uk/

Notes to Editors

  • It was announced by the Mayor of London on 29 May 2013 that ABP (London) would lead the development of the 35-acre Royal Albert Dock site, as part of a £1bn deal, with UK partner Stanhope acting as development manager. ABP were chosen following a procurement process to identify a developer to develop out the site for employment focused uses. The £1bn deal relates to the estimated gross development value of the development.
  • ABP is an experienced and successful developer in China, with a track record of investing in and transforming large areas in need of regeneration. ABP Beijing, for example, is a completed 15 million square foot development, home to around 50,000 employees of the businesses based there. It consists of 400 large office buildings of which many are more than 15 storeys high and includes apartments, shops, restaurants, leisure facilities and a luxury hotel. Over 95% of the buildings have been sold.
  • ABP has a number of other large scale projects under construction and on track, including a development in Shenyang, the largest city in north eastern China. The Shenyang project is five times the size of the development in Beijing and ABP have already completed 120 buildings, with a further 300 or so to complete over the next two years. The latest ABP project is in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao where the company is on track to complete the first 100 of 300 office buildings next year.
  • The Royal Docks lies within the stretch of land running from Stratford down the River Lea to the Thames, an ‘arc of opportunity’ with £22 billion of development potential. It is home to ExCeL, the international exhibition and convention centre and London City Airport. The Mayors of London and the London Borough of Newham have set out a joint vision to develop the Royal Docks.
  • The Royal Docks was granted Enterprise Zone status from April 2012 in recognition of its strategic importance.
    • 50ha rates relief (if in area by April 2018, extended by 3 years)
    • Enhanced Capital Allowances at RAD (up to April 2020, extended by 3 years) – good for capital intense industry e.g. biotech
    • Simplified planning – GLA/LBN/TfL/Developer Project Planning Performance Agreement
    • Broadband – part of successful £25m Urban Broadband Fund bid (up to 1gb/ps if there is demand)
    • Business rate uplift retention for 25 years


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