A five-year programme of demolition and construction at the Shell Centre on the South Bank could begin before Christmas.
The redevelopment of the Shell Centre – approved by Lambeth councillors in May – could begin in a matter of months after Mayor of London Boris Johnson rubber-stamped the proposals by Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar.
The 27-storey tower will remain the centrepiece of the new site, and will continue to be owned and occupied by Shell. It will be complemented by eight new buildings, one of which will incorporate a further 245,000 sq ft of new offices and trading floors for Shell.
The development is expected to take five years to complete.
"By approving our exceptional plans for the Shell Centre site, the Mayor has taken us one step closer to a development which will bring fantastic opportunities to this area of the South Bank," said Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive of Canary Wharf Group.
"This landmark step means that we can keep moving forward towards commencing work on site later this year.
"It has been fantastic to see such engagement from people in the local community throughout our extensive consultation process.
"We will continue to work closely with them to ensure that we understand local needs and continue to find ways for this development to benefit everybody in the area."
The South London Procurement Network – which matches local businesses up with those letting contracts on behalf of major developers in the area – is one initiative created by the Shell Centre partners.
This summer SLPN has funded an initiative with the local charity Carney's Community which has run a scheme at the Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club in Lambeth Road.
The project enabled 20 young people to take part in a boxing fitness training programme for two hours a day, three days a week.
The scheme was designed to help the volunteer coaches develop transferable skills such as discipline and communication, helping them to enter the local job market.
In addition, the young people who engaged in the project gained improved fitness and knowledge of the sport of boxing, including the focus on discipline, control of emotions and the honour code of the sport.
George Turner, manager of Carney's Community, said: "These participants have really excelled through the training given by the volunteers, and it has been fantastic to see their commitment and dedication. They have learnt so many skills through this summer scheme that they can now take to employers in the local area. We are also thrilled to see that 3 of the volunteer coaches have already managed to gain paid employment since starting the project."
SLPN's Alexandra Webb added: "We were delighted to join together with Carney's Community and Fitzroy Lodge ABC to implement this training programme. It has helped many local young people and is something that we hope to be able to do more of in the future.
"We are committed to promoting the skills of young people such as these participants to local SMEs for potential job opportunities."
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