New tower and cultural hub will boost City’s tourist appeal

A new tall building which promises to rejuvenate Leadenhall Market, create major new public spaces and showcase the City’s 2,000-year history has been given the green light.

The City of London Corporation’s Planning Applications Sub-Committee today approved plans for a 32-storey tower at 85 Gracechurch Street, creating over 27,000 sq m of new office space.

The development will boast an imposing ground-floor public hall including food, retail and event spaces, reopening a historic pedestrian route between Gracechurch Street and Lime Street Passage and increasing footfall into the market.

It will feature a fifth floor heritage garden and free public exhibition celebrating the history of the site where once stood the Forum and Basilica – the heart of Roman London – while there will also be provision to display to the public any significant Roman remains in-situ in the basement.

City of London Corporation Planning Applications Sub-Committee Chairman Shravan Joshi said:

“Developments such as this are a vote of confidence in the City as a global business hub and will helps us meet the continued demand for high-quality office space in the Square Mile.

“This scheme sets a high bar for others to follow. It will create major new public hall, a pedestrian route and a cultural space showcasing the rich history of this part of London, supporting our Destination City vision of the Square Mile as a seven-day-a-week visitor destination.

“We worked closely with Historic England to ensure preserving and showcasing the archaeology of the location – in situ in the event of any significant remains found – was at the heart of these plans.

“This development will create new jobs, boost the economy of the Square Mile and drive significantly increased footfall to Leadenhall Market, helping to boost the market’s appeal as a major visitor destination in its own right.”

The plans, drawn up by architects Woods Bagot for developers the Hershten Group, will retain and restore the 1930s facade of the existing nine-storey building, with the new structure around three times as high built behind.

The development has been designed to high sustainability standards, with significant areas of urban greening, will result in widened pavements on Gracechurch Street and create over 600 new cycle parking spaces.

The developer is working with the Museum of London to create the fifth-floor cultural space, displaying finds from nearby sites and offering an educational facility for schools as well as a new visitor attraction, which could feature a virtual reality experience of life in Roman London.

The heritage garden and exhibition will link to a public walkway with views over the rooftops of the neighbouring Leadenhall Market and across the City beyond.

More information on the plans is at: https://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=1395&MId=23769&Ver=4

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services
City of London Corporation
07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk