Behind the scenes of Nine Elms - London's most exciting new district

Published: Monday 12th March 18

Every day thousands of commuters pass the new and emerging buildings that are changing London’s skyline on the South Bank.

With them a new community is taking shape in what is quickly becoming one of the capital’s most exciting new districts.

The regeneration of Nine Elms might be one Europe’s largest regeneration projects, which is breathing new life into the UK economy, but more importantly for residents in Wandsworth it is providing the first new tube station in 90 years, creating more than 25,000 new jobs and bringing a new town centre that is buzzing with arts and cultural activities.

To tell the story of what is happening behind the skyline, Wandsworth Council has commissioned a mini-documentary which looks at the redevelopment of a once barren industrial area from the perspective of new and old tenants.

It shows how Nine Elms is now home to one of London’s most exciting food hubs at New Covenant Garden Market which, spanning 3 floors, will eventually take in 200 new businesses making, creating, cooking and selling food.

The area is the biggest single creator of new homes in the country which, over the next 10 years will see 20,000 built. A survey of residents who have moved in shows that majority of people are UK citizens moving from other parts of London with their salaries broadly in line with the Wandsworth average. 

The film includes an interview with the US Ambassador, Robert Wood, about what it means to be based in Wandsworth, it looks at the transformation of Battersea Power Station and goes beneath the streets to check out progress on the Northern Line extension.

It also discovers how St Mary’s primary school, one of the partners in the Battersea Exchange scheme, has benefitted from state-of-the-art buildings with a rooftop pitch.

Fittingly, the documentary starts with the area’s oldest resident, Battersea Cats & Dogs Homes, which has been there even before the iconic chimneys of the Power Station were formed.

“The regeneration of Nine Elms is important to London and it is important to Wandsworth,” says the charity’s Chief Executive Claire Horton. “It is bringing a new tube station, new houses and new businesses which will benefit us.”

Wandsworth Council Leader Ravi Govindia echoes those thoughts: “Nine Elms has gone from a wasteland to a place that is bringing so much benefit to Wandsworth and London as a whole by creating new job opportunities, housing, better transport links and fantastic new community facilities.”

The final word goes to Tooting apprentice Rachel Penfold who works at Battersea Power Station. “I came here when I was younger and it was derelict,” says Rachel. “It is such a great place to come now. Looking back in years to come I am going to be so proud of my role here.”

Take a look at the Nine Elms documentary, and the individual stories that form it, at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/nineelms

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