Home Business NewsBusinessBusiness Growth News Plans to transform subterranean wartime Kingsway Tunnels site into cultural attraction approved

Plans to transform subterranean wartime Kingsway Tunnels site into cultural attraction approved

by LLB staff reporter
11th Jun 24 2:20 pm

The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has today, approved proposals to change the use of the deep-level subterranean wartime shelter tunnels under High Holborn, into a visitor and cultural attraction.

Buildings at 38-41 Furnival Street would be combined into a single structure, with the ground floor used as the main entrance to both a permanent ‘Heritage Experience’, as well as a temporary cultural space for various exhibitions.

With the site spreading across the shared boundary with LB Camden, the plans will also require the approval of the Local Authority before the redevelopment works can commence.

In keeping with the City Corporation’s ‘Destination City’ policy, the growth strategy designed to boost seven-day-a-week footfall for the hospitality, retail, and leisure sectors, the proposed permanent ‘Heritage Experience’ would directly reference the historic tapestry of the City, whilst the flexible exhibition spaces, would provide a unique and distinctive space for cultural events, within the Square Mile.

To complement this further, an underground bar also features in the plans, located on the Camden side of the site.

The visitor attraction will be fully accessible, appeal to all ages and contribute to the transformation of the High Holborn as a seven day and evening destination, whilst celebrating the area’s unique history.

The proposals would also deliver a wider range of public benefits, with free visits to the heritage experience for London’s schools, community participation in shaping the design of the new cultural spaces, local job and apprenticeship opportunities, pavement widening and cycle spaces across the site, as well as an estimated £60-85m of extra footfall spending to the local area, per year. 

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Shravan Joshi, said, “I am incredibly excited by these plans and hope that LB Camden feels the same way. At the City of London, we are delivering a thriving, sustainable Square Mile, through a combination of business growth and celebration of our local heritage.

“The new and exciting heritage, arts and culture activity that this scheme has the potential to deliver, will enliven the local streets and venues.

“As we work to transform the Square Mile into a seven-day-a-week destination, developments like the one proposed for the Kingsway Tunnel site will become global attractions for a variety of visitors, which are projected to rise substantially.”

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