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Big plans for Elephant and Castle shopping centre

Elephant and Castle shopping centre has been known as one of London's biggest architectural mistakes for decades, but now major plans for redevelopment are under way.

The shopping centre was built on a bomb site in a destroyed area of London and opened its doors in 1965.

It was hoped that it would become one of the first US style indoor shopping malls in Europe, however the building has always been seen as an eyesore and its dour concrete facade was even painted in a bright pink colour at one time to try and improve the public image of the building.

The centre which is located in the Southwark area of London was bought for £80m around two years ago and now its new owners have unveiled plans for a major renovation that is part of a wider regeneration project in the area worth around £3bn.

The plans which went on display at the centre last week show how the site will provide new homes for thousands of people including local residents and students attending the nearby University of the Arts London (UAL). At the centre of the plans is a campus for the University and its London College of Communication. The campus will accommodate 4,500 students once complete.

 

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Vice chancellor at the UAL Nigel Carrington is excited about the development plans and believes the regeneration can help the university continue its long association with the area.

The plans also include a 300,000 sq ft shopping area which will host which will host a variety of retailers and restaurants while the remaining land plus land at a nearby site will provide 1,000 homes that will be made available for rent.

Development firm Delancey which is sharing the project 50/50 alongside APG say that the redevelopment will deliver an exciting new town centre that keeps the vibrancy of the area alive.

The lead architects on the Elephant & Castle regeneration project have a good track record in transforming other areas of London. Allies and Morrison worked on the King's Cross area of the city taking it from a former red-light district and turning it into a trendy area where brands such as Google have taken up office space.

The new proposals still need to be approved by Southwark council, but it is hoped that work can start by early 2017.

To see more on the plans visit www.elephantandcastletowncentre.co.uk

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