Award-winning developer, U+I, to work with Camden Council to create a new library for Holborn


U+I, one the country’s most innovative regeneration developers, has been selected as Camden Council’s partner to redevelop Holborn Library and Cockpit Yard, creating a new destination for Holborn.

Located on Theobald’s Road within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, the one-acre site is currently occupied by a public library and Cockpit Arts - an award winning social enterprise, which is the UK’s only creative business incubator for designer-makers. U+I’s plans have been designed by the award-winning architectural practice, Coffey Architects, and will see the site completely redeveloped to provide brand new employment studio spaces, a fully remodelled library and local studies archive facility, and new public spaces so that this becomes a busy, creative hub for the community. The redevelopment will also deliver 105 new homes including new affordable units.

A public-private partnership (PPP) with the Camden Council, the redevelopment of the library and employment space will be provided at no cost to the public purse. The delivery of the public elements of the scheme will be funded by the sales of the private residential units. U+I, resulting from the merger of Development Securities and Cathedral Group, has a strong track record for delivering award-winning PPP projects.

U+I will start its community engagement programme regarding its plans for Cockpit Yard and Holborn Library in the next few months with the aim of submitting a planning application by the end of 2016.

This will be the second public library that U+I has developed following on from Clapham One, a PPP project that delivered an award-winning library and sports centre on Clapham High Street alongside 136 high quality new homes. The development won multiple awards including Development of the Year, Best Masterplan and Best Mixed Use Development and the iconic Library Building, designed by Studio Egret West, is now a central part of the community in that part of South London.

Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive, U+I said: “Cockpit Yard and Holborn Library make up a complex mixed-use project – one that perfectly fits our expertise as a business. We work with our partners to create places that deliver real, long-term value for everyone involved.

“Coffey Architects, who have recently transformed a Victorian post office into our superb new headquarters office, are a natural fit for us on this project and we are excited to develop further our original design proposals for the project to create a place for Holborn that is truly special."


“We look forward to working closely with Camden Council and the local community to deliver our second public library and a regeneration project that creates pride and a great legacy for the area.”

Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive

Councillor Theo Blackwell, Cabinet Member for Finance and Technology said: “This appointment will see the remodelling of this valuable mixed use space with a modern public library and archive and employment space at no cost to the taxpayer – additionally it will provide much needed affordable housing options for the community.”

Notes to editors

About U + I

U+I is a property regeneration company that transforms undervalued parts of towns and cities into communities where people and enterprise can thrive. The product of a merger between Development Securities PLC and Cathedral Group, two of the UK’s leading property companies, U+I has a current market capitalisation of c. £300 million.

With a portfolio of mixed-use regeneration projects in London, the south-east, Manchester and Dublin we bring creativity and innovation to some of the most exciting opportunities in the property market. We combine financial strength and commercial acumen, a strong track record of working in partnership with public bodies, a commitment to the highest standards of design and architecture and a careful curation of place and history, to deliver long-term, sustainable change and value for our diverse stakeholder groups.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Lucy Grimble
Head of Communications
T: 020 7828 4777                                                                           

Orla Swindells
Blue Rubicon
T: 020 7260 2700

Further information on The Library Building in Clapham

The Library Building is part of the wider mixed-use development Clapham One, a successful public private partnership between the London Borough of Lambeth, Cathedral Group Plc and United House Limited.

The Library Building incorporates a brand new library, a 20,000 sq ft one-stop-shop health centre and 136 new homes located in 10 storeys above the public facilities. It is situated on Clapham High Street, equidistant between Clapham North and Clapham Common underground with connections into central London in 15 minutes. Clapham High Street mainline station is only a four minute walk away providing services to London Victoria. Clapham boasts some of the best shopping and nightlife in London and has over 200 acres of beautiful green parkland. The Clapham One scheme is seconds away from all of these.

The Clapham Library project has won the following awards, among others:

  • 2013
    Development of the Year - Property Week RESI Awards
    Winner of Architectural & Built Environment Scheme - Civic Trust Awards
  • 2012
    Best Apartment Building - The Sunday Times British Homes Awards
    Culture and Community Winner - New London Architecture Awards
  • 2011
    Best Mixed-use Development - International Property Awards
    Best Housing Project - The Daily Telegraph British Homes Awards
  • 2010
    Project Winner - Housing Design Awards