The jobs and the local economy market in Paddington would benefit from a massive boom if proposed development of the former Royal Mail Sorting Office next to station gets the go ahead, new figures claim.
A new report suggests an extra £350 million will be pumped into the local economy as a result of the Paddington Quarter development, and will also result in 4,500 new jobs for the area.
If given the go-ahead, the regeneration project will see a new building dubbed 'the Cube' on the site of the sorting office buildings and a major redevelopment of Paddington Station.
The findings by Volterra Partners believe Paddington Quarter would generate an annual £350m, with £320m attributed to new businesses occupying the 360,000 sq ft Cube office building and a further £30m from the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.
In addition the report states the development itself would provide a welcome boost for economic growth in Westminster, supporting the equivalent of 3,500 jobs.
It also anticipates a further 900 jobs will be created in the local economy, and calculates these new jobs will generate an additional £5.8m a year of spend in the local area.
Great Western Developments (GWD) and its development partner Sellar Paddington Limited (SPL) submitted their proposal for Paddington Quarter to Westminster City Council in September.
The proposed scheme was submitted following consultation with residents and stakeholders and would see significant rejuvenation of the area.
Apart from the Cube and station improvements totalling £65m, the plans include:
- Significantly enhanced connectivity between Paddington Station, Paddington Underground and Elizabeth line services
- Enhanced access to the Paddington Basin and St Mary’s Hospital
- A range of new shops, restaurants, cafes and bars
The Cube is the second design for the site after the previous choice, nicknamed the Skinny Shard, received much criticism , but feedback from three separate consultations has been positive with 60% of respondents consistently offering their support for the overall scheme and more than 85% supporting the public transport and public realm proposals.
It has the support of the Paddington and wider London business community, including the London Chamber of Commerce.
The London Chamber of Commerce CEO, Colin Stanbridge, said: “Paddington has long served as an important gateway into and out of London.
"It is right that the area undergoes a phase of renewal - and this proposal to invest and transform the land adjacent to the station can be part of a bright future for Paddington.
“It is about more than new buildings, it is about investment, about creating new jobs, and attracting new businesses and new leisure facilities to the area.
“That brings more people, which in turn benefits existing shops, restaurants and pubs – and fosters new commercial activity.”
Kay Buxton, chief executive, of the Paddington Now Business Improvement District, said: “Over the past 10 years we’ve improved many aspects of Paddington but have never been able to crack the problem of Praed Street.
“This scheme would be the catalyst that Praed Street needs to finally unlock investment, by adding retail opportunities and creating new public realm and underground access on the northern side of the street.”
Shabeer Dawood, director of Lauder and Rees Optometrists and Opticians in Paddington added: “Having worked in Paddington for more than 30 years I have noticed an increasingly promising business environment but there is still a long way to go.
“The scheme would bring people to the area and with it greater spending on Praed Street.
"It would provide a real lift to the neighbourhood."
A final decision on the scheme is expected to be made in December.