City of London Corporation to convert vacant offices into homes as part of post-pandemic overhaul


The City of London Corporation has said it is aiming to convert vacant office space into at least 1,500 new homes by 2030 as part of a new strategy to rejuvenate The Square Mile in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In an action plan published on Tuesday, the financial district’s governing authority said it will also aim to “curate an ecosystem of high-potential tech-led businesses” and is also aiming to rebrand the City Business Library into a Small Business Research and Enterprise Centre from May 10 to support the creation and growth of start-ups.

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The corporation also said it is exploring opportunities to rejuvenate its nightlife and weekend offerings, with events under considerations including traffic-free Saturdays or Sundays in the summer or an all-night “cultural celebration”.

Other parts of the plan involve deploying 5G mobile internet coverage across The Square Mile by the end of 2022, as well as support to develop renewable energy and smart grid infrastructure.

“The Square Mile must evolve in order to provide an ecosystem that remains attractive to workers, visitors, learners and residents. This will involve encouraging growth, fostering talent from all backgrounds, providing a vibrant leisure offer and offering outstanding environments”, said Catherine McGuinness, the City’s policy chair.

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“There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed some ways of working and accelerated some positive trends that were evident already in urban centres such as the City of London,” added Alastair Moss, the corporation’s planning and transportation chair. 

“The City will continue to adapt and prove resilient due to our robust fundamentals. We will work even more closely with the property sector to promote increasingly sustainable, flexible and adaptable buildings that people will thrive in. It will also be essential to continue to future-proof our supporting infrastructure, create more amazing public spaces and accelerate plans to make our streets more accessible.”



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