On Thursday, NLA relocated to the Guildhall in the City of London, for the first ‘NLA on Location’, a new series of full-day events that include a morning conference, a networking lunch and an afternoon of building tours.
Peter Bill, columnist for the London Evening Standard, chaired the morning’s conference in the magnificent Livery Hall, which included speakers from the City of London Corporation, Cheapside Initiative, British Land, Land Securities and Arup.
The tone was set by Peter Rees, City Planning Officer, who demonstrated that the City is becoming “a place where people can play as well as work”. He was later followed by Ruth Duston, Director of the Cheapside Initiative, who explained how the transformation of Cheapside is creating a unique retail destination – drawing workers and visitors to the City seven days a week – while David Ainsworth, Director of CORE and Adrian Penfold, Head of Planning and Environment at British Land, demonstrated why the City still remains the best place to locate and do business, with their case studies of Watermark Place and The Willis Building.
However, with competition for London businesses coming from cities such as Shanghai, Dubai and Mumbai, Stuart Fraser, Chairman of the Policy & Resources Committee from the City of London Corporation, highlighted the need to both increase London’s airport capacity and support Crossrail in order to maintain the competitive edge.
In the afternoon, each delegate had the opportunity to attend two guided tours of exemplary buildings which have been recently completed or are currently under construction in the City: Broadgate Tower, 125 Old Broad Street, 150 Cheapside, New Street Square, One Lothbury, One New Change, Ropemaker, 60 Threadneedle Street, The Walbrook and Watermark Place. Tours were conducted by the building developer, a member of the design team, and the tenant (where applicable) and provided the chance to see and experience the City’s planning vision in practice.
‘NLA on Location: City of London’ was in association with The City of London Corporation and supported by British Land, CORE, Hammerson, Land Securities, Minerva plc, St Martins Property Corporation and Welbeck Land.