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New chapter for iconic London landmark as U+I appointed to transform former headquarters of London Fire Brigade in PPP deal

31.03.16

U+I has been appointed by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LEFPA) as its development partner for the regeneration of 8 Albert Embankment into a new mixed-use community with an end value in excess of £300 million. Overlooking the Thames and the Houses of Parliament, 8 Albert Embankment has been home to the iconic Lambeth Fire station and formerly the Fire Brigade’s Headquarters since 1937. Following a competitive bid process, U+I was selected as the developer of choice owing to its extensive experience of Public Private Partnership regeneration projects (PPP) which include The Deptford Project, which has rejuvenated Deptford high street in partnership with Lewisham Council, and Clapham One which delivered a new library and health centre for Clapham in partnership with Lambeth Council.

The U+I vision for 8 Albert Embankment is for a mixed-use development that transforms this Central London riverside location through a modern urban design by Fred Pilbrow and Partners. A contemporary fire station will be at the heart of the project that combines the features of the existing building with a training yard within a redesigned space that modernises every aspect of the fire station. Next to the operating station will be the brand new London Fire Brigade museum. Formerly located in Southwark and closed since September in preparation for the move, the museum will reopen and relocate to 8 Albert Embankment where the new location will provide an opportunity to develop and expand the museum's world class collection, which tells the story of firefighting from the Great Fire of London until the present day.

The appointment of U+I is only the first step. Alongside the LFB, U+I will now begin the process of developing the plans for the site, engaging with the local community and the local council to shape the development. The consultation and engagement process will listen, educate and seek to inspire everyone with a stake in the future of 8 Albert Embankment about the redevelopment.

U+I is an established partner of the LFB. In a project led by Richard Upton, the regeneration specialist (then operating as Cathedral Group prior to its merger with Development Securities) delivered Millwall Fire Station in partnership with the London Fire Brigade. Completed in 2001, this was a unique scheme which delivered the first ever privately funded fire station in the UK at no cost to the taxpayer.

The company also has a longstanding relationship with Lambeth Council, having worked together to deliver the award winning Clapham One development. Completed in 2012 by Cathedral Group, the PPP project delivered a modern library, family health centre and some of the best quality new homes in the borough.

Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive of U+I commented:
“Just weeks after being selected by Camden Council for a new PPP project at Cockpit Yard, we are delighted to have been appointed to redevelop 8 Albert Embankment and to have the opportunity to work with the LFB and Lambeth again. U+I has extensive experience of PPP, and our approach is anchored by a commitment to community consultation and a respect for the provenance of every site. This is especially important for 8 Albert Embankment, given the history of the site as the former headquarters of the London Fire Brigade and also its’ importance to the local community. Nothing matters more to U+I than engaging with local people and giving them a voice in shaping projects. We are looking forward to starting the conversation with the community and realising a vision that blends a modern station with a celebration of history and heritage in the London Fire Brigade museum.”

Sue Budden, Director of Finance and Contractual Services for London Fire Brigade, said: "This decision moves us closer to redeveloping this site, some of which has been vacant since 2008.

"It is important that this moves forward, in order to protect an important cultural London landmark and to reflect the needs of the local community.

"Rehousing the Brigade's museum in a purpose built space will help mean we can modernise our exhibits, host more school visits and encourage more families to come and learn about our history and about fire prevention which is a key part of our community safety work.

"This development also means we can modernise Lambeth fire station, dramatically improving the facilities for our firefighters but also provide a space that the community can use too."

Notes to editors:

About U + I

U+I is a new kind of property company.

With a £4bn portfolio of complex, mixed-use, community-focussed regeneration projects including a £200m investment portfolio, we are unlocking urban sites bristling with potential in the London, Manchester and Dublin city regions. We create huge, long-lasting social and economic change for the communities in which we build, and sustainable value for our shareholders.

Our ambition: to be the best property company in the industry.

To find out more, visit www.uandiplc.com

For further information, please contact:

Lucy Grimble, Head of Communications, U+I 
T: 020 7828 4777
lucygrimble@uandiplc.comm

Lily Wiggins Blue Rubicon
T: 020 7260 2700
lily.wiggins@bluerubicon.com

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