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South Bank & Waterloo

South Bank & Waterloo South Bank & Waterloo

The South Bank and Waterloo are London icons and Lambeth’s economic engine. The area is home to a world class artistic cluster, household name media and tech companies, renowned architecture and design firms, independent high streets, and a burgeoning start-up scene.

In the heart of central London, on the river Thames, this is a place where big business, universities, innovators and independents sit side by side, creating a rich economic ecology.

Yet there is still great potential for growth. Waterloo is poised to undergo once in a generation levels of development and major investments are being made. See below to find out more about what’s here already, what’s on the way and how you can be part of the future of South Bank & Waterloo.

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The South Bank and Waterloo are pivotal economic growth and employment areas for Lambeth and London. It has the potential to deliver 15,000 new jobs and 1,900 new homes. The projects below detail how the area grows, building on its great historic past and vibrant present.


    Canary Wharf Group is transforming the iconic Shell Centre into a mixed-use development with 600,000 sq ft of commercial space. WeWork is leasing 280,000 sq ft of office space, creating the world’s largest co-working space and moving their European HQ to the heart of London.


    With 100 million people passing through, Waterloo Station is the UK’s busiest rail hub. It’s currently undergoing a £800m update to meet passenger demand. The work will increase train capacity by 40% and create 13,500 sq ft of retail and leisure space. The new commercial spaces will house a mix of independent, high street and food stores spread across three floors.


    London and Continental Railways (LCR) have redeveloped and redesigned the Leake Street Arches. The 23,000 sq ft scheme has provided new retail space, including independent restaurants, bars and the UK’s first custom-built acoustic events space is an audio/visual ‘sensorium’ called Aures, a 175-seat venue.


    Elizabeth House will represent one of London’s largest development schemes in the past 10 years. Over 1 million sq. ft. of new commercial space and 100,000 sq. ft. of public space will be created in front of Waterloo Station and running the length of York Road. Recently acquired by HB Reavis, the Elizabeth House scheme will create a new business district and catalyse further development.

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South Bank Employers Group – a unique partnership of eighteen major organisations in South Bank, Waterloo and Blackfriars with a long-term commitment to improving the everyday experience of the area for employees, visitors and residents alike. For over 25 years, South Bank Employers Group have been driving positive change, helping to create one of the UK’s most exciting destinations.

Two Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) cover the entire commercial area of the South Bank and Waterloo. The BIDs promote and network their business communities, and also drive new initiatives supporting the local economy – from visitor management, events and public realm improvements, to street market management and new affordable workspace projects. All businesses locating in the area benefit from their support and investment.


  • The creative powerhouses of the Southbank Centre, British Film Institute, National Theatre, The Old Vic and Young Vic have been inspiring creative talent for generations, drawing 30m+ visitors every year.

  • Iconic media and tech business including IBM and BFI have called the South Bank home for over 30 years. These economic giants benefit from the central location and connectivity, a highly skilled talent base and a world class choice of restaurants, bars and venues. David Chipperfield Architects, part of a growing design cluster in Lambeth, is one of the UK’s most successful practices with more than 100 awards won internationally.

  • A thriving start-up scene is being built within the Waterloo neighbourhood. Build Studios; Health Foundry; Granby Space; and Local London are four incubators and co-working spaces that contribute to this. Long established workspaces including Elizabeth House and Make Space Studios also provide an affordable offer, popular with hundreds of early stage companies and micro businesses. WeWork are set to open the world’s largest co-working space in the Southbank Place development.

  • Healthcare is one of Waterloo’s leading sectors with major institutions, centres for innovation and a strong higher education imprint. Guy’s & St. Thomas’ and King’s College London are two of London’s foremost medical institutions, training first class healthcare professionals and pioneering innovation in life sciences, medicine, social science and public policy. Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity opened The Health Foundry in 2016, a modern collaborative workspace for digital health start-ups, part of a health-tech cluster that is growing between Waterloo and London Bridge.

  • Historic London shopping streets in Lower Marsh and The Cut provide the backdrop for a richly characterful independent business and retail sector. Lower Marsh Market, operating since the 19th century, has been re-invigorated by the WeAreWaterloo BID, providing a great street-food offer throughout the week.

  • Made famous by graffiti artist Banksy, who organised the first Cans Festival of street art there in 2008, Leake Street is now London’s largest and most popular street art location. In 2012, The Vaults was launched in a maze of underground tunnels on Leake Street, and has since become established as a multi-award winning theatre and performing arts space. 2014 saw the iconic Vans brand opening of the House of Vans, housing London’s first permanent indoor skate park, a diner, bar and cinema.

busiest rail hub

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