Landsec’s £500 million plans to redevelop 55 Old Broad Street, creating modern, sustainable work and retail space, plus two new cultural destinations, were yesterday [20 November] approved by the City of London Corporation.
The redevelopment of 55 Old Broad Street will create a new, mixed-use development, comprising high-quality office space, alongside artist studios and cultural space, at 65 Old Broad Street Studios and the Grade II listed Victorian Bath House.

The plans were developed to support the City Corporation’s flagship ‘Destination City’ initiative, which is part of their mission to attract more visitors by bringing new leisure, social and cultural destinations to the City of London.

The new building will be net zero, running solely from renewable electricity. On top of this, much of the existing structure will be retained, with many of the recovered materials re-used in the new building.

Once complete, 55 Old Broad Street will house 270,000 sq ft NIA of flexible office space, providing a substantial increase in employment capacity compared to the current building. This could add over 2,500 new jobs, generating £7.5m of spending in the local area each year.

The workspace has been designed to meet the requirements of a range of occupiers, from companies in financial services, technology, legal and other professional sectors, to start-ups and small enterprises, who will have ring-fenced access to affordable space to suit their needs through discounted rents.

There’ll be retail space at ground floor level, a new and improved home for the popular Kings Arms Pub, as well as better pedestrian routes, improved connections to neighbouring streets, and public spaces.

At the heart of the plans are two new cultural venues at 65 Old Broad Street and the Victorian Bathhouse.

As a meanwhile use prior to development, Landsec has partnered with Hive Curates, an art collective, to launch ‘Broadworks’ at 65 Old Broad Street, which is providing 10 artist and maker studios alongside artistic workshops and events. EC BID, the area’s business improvement district, is also supporting the programme.

With the plans now approved, this venue will become a part of the wider scheme proposals for the long term, offering affordable space for underrepresented talent and creatives and diversifying the cultural experiences on offer in the City.

After careful restoration of the Victorian Bathhouse, the historic building will be made into a community asset for the first time. Landsec has partnered with Guildhall School of Music & Drama which will operate the multi-purpose space, to deliver a cultural programme for communities and emerging talent in the centre of London.

Oliver Hunt, Development Director at Landsec, said:
“The City of London is one of the world’s most significant business hubs, and we know that demand for modern, sustainable workspace designed with wellbeing in mind, is growing.

“Alongside modern offices, retail space and greatly improved public realm around the building, we’re seizing the chance to create a true 7-day a week destination – one that gives talented creatives space to flourish, and generates long-term positive impact for the area, creating a place where people want to come together to work, collaborate, create and visit.

Sean Gregory, Vice Principal & Director of Innovation and Engagement at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, said:

“The Bath House is a hidden gem, dating back to 1895, with baths present on this site since 1817.

“Through our partnership with Landsec we intend to open this amazing building, providing community groups, city workers, charities and cultural organisations with access to free space, events and activities, which celebrate the City’s heritage.

“Alongside this, we will offer performing artists free workshop, rehearsal and R&D facilities, creating a new performing arts venue to showcase London’s best emerging talent.”