Crossrail is set to turn Farringdon into one of the capital’s best-connected economic hubs, business leaders say.
One hundred local businesses, including Alexander McQueen and Kurt Geiger, are currently voting on a proposal for the Farringdon and Clerkenwell area to become a Business Improvement District (BID).
If the majority vote ‘yes’, a mandatory levy will be introduced for all these businesses. The money will be invested in projects to reduce crime rates, improve the environment and will give businesses “a direct voice to affect change.”
Elliot Moss, Director of Business Development at Mischcon de Reya, said: “The new epicentre of our great capital will soon be Farringdon and Clerkenwell as Farringdon station sees a tripling of use and London’s ‘front door’ moves here bringing substantial growth.”
Farringdon will become one of London’s busiest stations in two years, providing access to Thameslink, Crossrail and London Underground services.
A spokesperson for Inmidtown, the organisation leading the BID proposal, said: “Two years ago, around 19 million passengers passed through the station every day. In ten years’ time that number could rise to anywhere between 27 and 41 million per annum.”
The businesses voting on the proposal include boutique hotel Malmaison and mega brands Deloitte and Unilever. They have until 18 March to vote. If the BID proposal is successful, work begins in May 2016.
Paolo Zilli, Senior Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects, said: “The new BID will help Clerkenwell become a destination instead of a crossroads – and reinforce the area’s reputation for innovation and creativity.”
The BID proposal has received support from Islington Council. Asima Shaikh, the council’s economic development leader, said: “The council is fully supportive of BIDs because they enable businesses to work together for the local economy and bring significant benefits to the local community, including new employment and training.”
Property prices in Farringdon and Clerkenwell are expected to skyrocket. There has already been a significant increase since Crossrail received Royal Assent in 2008.
In a report published in 2015, Knight Frank, a leading London property agent, said that property prices within a 10-minute walk of central stations have risen, on average, by 57 per cent since 2008. This compares to 43 per cent growth in the central London market during the same period.
Liam Bailey, head of research at Knight Frank, told Islington Now: “If we assume property prices in London will grow by 5 per cent annually, the areas near Crossrail stations will increase by 10 per cent. On average London house prices will rise 10-12 per cent by 2018.
“I anticipate the areas around Crossrail will see a property price increase of 20 per cent.”
Photo credit: Crossrail