The company behind the transformation of the Royal Albert Dock into London’s next business district has today revealed it is securing substantial investment.
At the launch of the sales campaign to promote the development, ABP London announced the project will receive tens of millions of pounds from Indian property company Strawberry Star Group in return for equity in a deal that is expected to further drive interest in the business district.
The two companies signed a heads of agreement as the first stage of the deal before an audience of more than 250 guests including politicians, business leaders and international media at an event to mark the official launch of sales for the £1.7 billion development.
ABP’s Chairman Mr. Xu Weiping said: “I am delighted to be partnering with Strawberry Star. China and India represent two of the most powerful growing economies in the world and there is a synergy between us. We are two companies that share a vision for Royal Albert Dock.
“Working together with ABP, Strawberry Star can help us to bring more occupiers from Asia and that was more important to us than the financial investment. Progress on this project will now be rapid”
He also revealed that further investor announcements will be made in the months ahead as discussions with potential partners from Asia, the Middle East and the UK are underway.
He added that: “I’m pleased to see the project become more and more international with diverse occupiers and investors from China, India and countries from Middle East and Europe about joint venture. That is a good start to develop Royal Albert Dock as an international village.”
Chairman of Strawberry Star Group Santhosh Gowda said: “The reason why we are joining with ABP is we see great potential opportunities of the development, we believe that the collaboration will bring mutual benefits to both of the companies.”
At the official sales launch held on 26 June, more than 10 enterprises from the UK and Asia signed confirmation agreements and each paid a £50k reservation fee to secure office space in the first phase of the 4.7 million sq ft development in advance of construction work starting on site later this year.
Among the first occupiers are companies operating in the life sciences, high tech and financial sectors.
The event shows this project is now open for business and is a further endorsement it will have a positive impact on London business-life by creating a unique business destination for companies from Asia seeking new markets in Europe as well as for UK companies wishing to have offices in London that are cost effective, according to Xu Weiping.
Minister Counsellor from the Commercial Section of Chinese Embassy, Xu Jin, said it further shows London is the focal point for business investment from China and the future of Chinese businesses investing in London looks bright.
Minister at Department of Communities and Local Government, James Wharton MP, said:
“Enterprise Zones are creating thousands of jobs, attracting billions of pounds of investment and proving Britain is a great place to do business.
“More and more investors from both the UK and overseas are signing deals that will create jobs and prosperity for areas like the Royal Albert Dock which is great news for local communities and great news for the economy.”
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “I am committed to making the Royal Docks a great place to do business in. This area offers unparalleled opportunity with all the resources companies need, including excellent transport infrastructure and two London universities. Our recruitment service Workplace will work in partnership with businesses to match Newham residents to suitable jobs. This is essential for us as we want regeneration to create opportunities for the people who already live here.
“This unique part of London provides an excellent location for companies to succeed. I look forward to working together to help bring further jobs, opportunities and investment to the Royal Docks.”