Having recently returned from living and working in London for 3 years I’ve been keeping up to date with the happenings, particularly in one of my favourite areas, around London Bridge. Working almost next to The Shard, I was able to spend many lunch breaks wandering around Borough Market and walking along the River Thames.
At the heart of this area is the major London Bridge Railway station, Britain’s fourth busiest station, which has just undergone a huge £500m redevelopment.
The redevelopment of the station has been seen as a catalyst for the economic and cultural revitalisation of the surrounding areas through a holistic ‘placemaking’ exercise lead by local property owners and businesses in partnership with the local Southwark Council.
The partnership is called Team London Bridge and is funded through a Business Improvement District (BID) program. The BID program enables the future design, development, culture, image, identity and, marketing management of the precinct to be pursued in a holistic fashion. It aims to address the image and perceptions of the area and turn an underutilised and poorly performing component of central London into a bustling, vibrant commercial and cultural centre, capitalising on the increased patronage of the redeveloped railway station.
Team London Bridge’s mission is ‘to ensure London Bridge excels as a leading place for global commerce and continues to develop as a pioneering local centre for enterprise, culture and entertainment.’
“(Their) main objective is to shift the perception of London Bridge as the destination ‘to go to’, rather than ‘go through.”
– Simon Howell, Chair, Team London Bridge.
Team London Bridge have a created masterplan ‘The London Bridge Plan’, which is comprised of four principles; Identity, Economy and Placeshaping and Partnerships, which each include a number of planned policies and projects.
This includes a plan for the immediate term in 2018, one for the following 2-4 years, and a plan for the longer-term 5 + years.
A key component of the masterplan is the ‘London Bridge Culture Strategy’, commissioned in July 2017.
“Culture is an essential ingredient for our cities. As well as generating tourism and boosting the economy, culture brings us together and helps define the places we love. Having great transport and efficient roads alone isn’t enough – cities also need a soul, so threading culture through all aspects of city life is key. Team London Bridge’s culture strategy brings businesses and cultural organisations together, to make sure London Bridge thrives as a vital part of our capital.”
– Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor Culture and the Creative Industries, Mayor of London
Team London Bridge’s vision ‘is for London Bridge to become the front stage for London, a place to create our favourite memories of the city through innovative and contemporary cultural programming.’
What I find most interesting is this Culture Strategy and the Identity component of The London Bridge Plan. Its main principle being to ‘reveal the London Bridge story’.
The identity project will include:
• Art installations, public spaces, performance spaces, technology, bars and restaurants, retail, jobs
• Way finding, themed trails
• Parks and green space
Viewing this project through a place brand lens, it’s inspiring to see the role of a rich place story at the heart of this project. Clarity on place brand strategy is the first, critical step to aligning the many layers of stakeholders and the strategic actions.
To underpin this London Bridge Story with layers of identity design demonstrates the commitment and understanding of what’s required to successfully create a vibrant new place.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this has evolved the next time I’m in London.
Senior Account Manager