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Major study reveals social and economic value of King’s Cross regeneration

Major study reveals social and economic value of King’s Cross regeneration
6 December 2017

Comprehensive report by independent consultancy Regeneris captures wide-ranging social and economic benefits of the redevelopment of King’s Cross.

The ongoing regeneration of King’s Cross has supported over 10,000 jobs to date and in excess of £600m in added value to the economy per year, according to an independent study which focuses on the economic and social benefits of the development over the last decade.
The research was commissioned to objectively quantify the benefits of the development of King’s Cross, led by Argent on behalf of the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP), which has been celebrated as one of London’s regeneration success stories and widely lauded as an exemplar of urban development and placemaking.

With the King’s Cross development approaching the ten-year mark and over half complete, specialist economic development and regeneration consultancy Regeneris has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of the site. Using a range of measures to capture the economic and social value of the development, Regeneris has examined the impact both within the 67-acre site and the ripple out to the wider local area.

The study has found that £3bn has been invested in construction on the site since work began in earnest in 2008, supporting 1,300 jobs. Some 1,500 suppliers have been used, including 300 local businesses, supporting 500 local jobs and generating gross value added (GVA) of £33m per year in the local area.

The development has so far delivered 19 new and refurbished office buildings, providing 3 million sq ft of commercial office space, with a 97% occupancy rate. Some 8,500 employees now work in offices, shops, restaurants and cafes across the site, generating a total economic value of £480m per year (GVA).

The scheme has also delivered 900 new homes, supporting £77m of additional local spend per year from new residents, which is estimated to have supported 200 jobs in the local area, and generated £1.4m in additional council tax per year.

The report also shows that over the past decade, King’s Cross has outperformed other inner London ‘opportunity areas’, as outlined in the London Plan, in terms of employment growth and increases in commercial and residential values.

David Partridge, Managing Partner at Argent, said: “From the outset we had a clear set of aspirations for what we needed to achieve at King’s Cross. We wanted to do development differently; to create a place that would not only be good to work, but also a place to live, eat and shop and simply a place to meet and wander.
“We believe that the creation of both economic and social value are completely inter-related – and to achieve that we have focused resolutely on quality; not only in terms of design and construction but also in terms of engagement, the public realm, our occupiers and the mix of uses at the development.
“We are proud of the value that King’s Cross has brought to the local area, first and foremost, and to London. The report was commissioned in order to find a form of measurement for this value created and the findings also will help us to continue to refine our approach as we deliver the final chapter of this development particularly as we embark on our next major regeneration schemes in Tottenham Hale and Brent Cross through Argent Related”
The range of economic and social benefits generated by the King’s Cross development include:

  • 50% increase in jobs in local area over 5 years (compared to London average of +18%)
  • 65% increase in ‘knowledge’ employment in local area over 5 years (compared to London average of 22%)
  • Over £3bn invested in construction on the site to date, including £590m in London, supporting 1,300 jobs
  • 1,500 suppliers used in total, including 300 local suppliers, supporting 500 local jobs and a total gross value added (GVA) of £33m pa locally
  • Over 600 local people placed into work on site, including 330 previously unemployed local people – generating a public value of £4.6m pa
  • Construction Skills Centre has supported 1,200 people into construction-related employment and strengthened local labour market by providing 600 apprenticeships and 450 NVQ L2 starts
  • 19 new and refurbished office buildings, providing 3 million sq ft of commercial office space, with a 97% occupancy rate
  • 39 business occupiers on site, including Google, Havas and Universal Music
  • 8,500 employees working in commercial premises on site, 94% in offices, 3% in retail and 3% in leisure
  • These employees generate salary value of around £280 million per year and a total economic value of £480 million per year (GVA)
  • Employees on site generate 850 jobs in wider local area, with an additional GVA pf £48m pa
  • Commercial space on site generates additional £25m per annum in business rates income –estimated to rise to £100m pa when development is complete
  • 900 new homes delivered providing accommodation for 1,200 working age residents as well as 750 student accommodation rooms
  • £77m of additional local spend per year from new residents, generating 200 direct and multiplier jobs in the local area, and £1.4m in additional council tax pa
  • 36% of home delivered are affordable (325) – 17% are social rent or supported housing and 19% are affordable and shared ownership (This compares to average of 25% affordable across inner London boroughs over past three years)
  • Footfall on site of 7.5m during 2016, with visitor spend generating £480m GVA pa
  • 163 events in 2016, attracting 350,000 visitors – 20% of events were local community events, attracting 246,000 local visitors
  • 10.5 ha of public realm delivered and 7 restored heritage buildings
  • 600 young people and 420 businesses volunteers involved in volunteering at Global Generation’s Skip Garden in 2015/16
  • 50 schools and 3,800 pupils engaged in on-site activities

Chris Paddock, Director at Regeneris, said: “This report seeks to put values on the story of King’s Cross’ evolution over the last decade. King’s Cross is now a vital piece of the London economy. Thousands of new workers and residents living on the site, not to mention the millions of visitors every year, have created enormous local economic value, not just through spending and job creation, but additional council tax and business rates.
“The quality new public realm at King’s Cross has proven to be hugely popular, giving residents and visitors open space, while the myriad of events and community initiatives that are held each year as well as local volunteering opportunities, school engagement and sports events have enabled a greater sense of civic ownership .

“It would have been possible to make even bigger claims, but we have focused only on the benefits that can be directly attributed to the development. It is important to recognise that the true value of development will be realised over a longer period post completion. This will require even more monitoring and research by Argent, KCCP and their partners over the coming years”

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