Elizabeth line set to connect London’s most prominent business hubs
30 May 2022
The Elizabeth line is connecting London’s leading business districts like never before, providing a major boost to London’s economy and revolutionising how London is experienced by everyone.
This once-in-a-generation launch marks the beginning of a new era for London travel by connecting visitors to several key hubs across the city as well as London’s airports. The Elizabeth line will connect areas including world-leading financial centres in the Square Mile, and Canary Wharf, to fast-developing business and events hubs in the East at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, ExCeL London and Royal Docks, as well as London’s cultural and creative heart in the West End.
Designed to significantly reduce journey times as well as connect seamlessly into London’s existing tube and rail networks, the new line add increased flexibility to people’s journeys. It will add 10% capacity to central London’s rail network, bringing an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of Central London as well as an estimated £42bn in additional value to the UK economy.
The Elizabeth line has also been designed to transform accessibility, with spacious new stations fitted with lifts providing step-free access. An example of London’s leadership in green mobility and public transit, the new line will also help to reduce reliance on private cars.
The new railway connects key areas to the most established, fastest growing businesses in the world – spanning financial and professional services, technology, sustainability, creative and cultural sectors. Five of the leading business districts on the Elizabeth line include:
Square Mile (Liverpool Street Station)
The Square Mile, London’s historic centre in the City of London and home to the world’s leading financial and professional services companies from the Bank of England to Lloyds of London, is about to be opened even further thanks to the new Elizabeth line station at Liverpool Street. Business travellers and locals will be able to get into the city more easily, with direct journeys from Heathrow starting in autumn this year. The station will also provide easier access to Old Street Roundabout and Shoreditch, home to London’s biggest and most exciting new tech companies including Monzo and Farfetch, 11FS and Onfido.
The City of London Corporation have also recently announced a new vision for the future of the Square Mile to provide a further boost to the world-leading destination for workers, visitors, and residents. The project ‘Destination City’ will see enhancements throughout the area including a £2.5 million annual investment to the City’s leisure offer, and an exciting events programme including outdoor festivals, music, art, education, sport, and wellness.
Additionally, exciting new openings are set to attract more visitors to the area. These include the riverside walk at Queenhithe which will deliver a complete riverside route for the Thames Path through the Square Mile and the viewing platform at 22 Bishopsgate – London's highest free viewing spot – which will offer incredible views across London.
West End (Tottenham Court Road Station)
London’s West End, one of the world’s busiest shopping and entertainment districts will be welcoming even more visitors thanks to the Elizabeth line’s Tottenham Court Road Station. The West End is one of the biggest drivers of the UK economy, worth £5 billion and has become a highly desirable location for major investment in the areas surrounding Tottenham Court Road Station because of the rail line.
The West End is also home to a large proportion of London’s creative agencies as well as Snap, Bumble, Google, Facebook, and Instagram offices. In fact, Google recently announced plans to acquire the entire Central St. Giles building on Tottenham Court Road. The Elizabeth line will not only connect these and other creative and tech companies to international visitors but also to the rest of London within minutes.
The new gateway into the area has been built to host millions of extra visitors each year and has attracted several commercial, residential, and retail developments. One example is Outernet, an immersive media and entertainment district boasting the world’s largest high-resolution wrap-around screens as well as a new 2,000 capacity live events venue. In addition, Soho Place (One Oxford Street), a mixed-use development by Derwent London above Tottenham Court Road station will include the new NIMAX Theatre – London’s newest central London theatre as well as several prime flagship retail units.
According to a pre-pandemic New West End Company report, by 2026 an estimated 31.8 million additional people will be entering and exiting Tottenham Court Road. The West End catchment area will increase by 28 percent, bringing more customers closer to Europe’s premier shopping district. Almost 60 percent of people are anticipated to visit the West End more frequently due to the Elizabeth line, which is set to dramatically increase turnover of retail business operating in the area.
Canary Wharf Station
Canary Wharf is fast becoming one of the best-connected locations in London, with strong local and international transport links including London City Airport, the DLR, Jubilee line and now the all-new Elizabeth line. As another of London’s major financial and business districts, Canary Wharf is home to One Canada Square, Citigroup Centre, HSBC, and JP Morgan among several other of the world’s largest financial institutions.
In addition, several exciting ventures are continuing to build the area’s reputations as a hub for business innovation. Level 39 - who claim the be the world’s most connected tech community - as Europe’s largest fintech accelerator, are even more connected thanks to the Elizabeth line.
In March this year, Canary Wharf Group and Kadans Science Partner announced a partnership which includes the building of a 750,000 sq. ft GIA life-science focused, wet lab enabled building, as part of a longer-term vision to create a world leading centre for health and life sciences, right next to the Elizabeth line station.
Canary Wharf is also a leading sustainable commercial centre and home to the largest green roof space in the UK, built to sit on top of the new station. Named, the Crossrail Place Roof Garden, it helps to cool buildings in the summer months which reduces the energy required to air condition them — and has also helped bring back Black Redstarts, a bird native to the area.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Stratford Station)
Following the Olympics in 2012, London’s Olympic Park has seen a steady flow of development as part of the Olympic legacy programme creating new spaces for businesses in the technology, cyber, smart mobility as well as culture and education sectors. For example, Here East, an innovation, and technology campus born out of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is home to Matches, Ford, Sports Interactive, and the Digital Institute London. The Elizabeth line will not only increase connections to these sites but also to existing events and retail establishments in the area including Westfield Stratford, East Bank, Copper Box Arena, and the London Stadium.
The East Bank development project kicking off this year, is set to be a new powerhouse for innovation and creativity in the capital, and fully connected to central London via the Elizabeth line. The area will see a whole host of new tenants in the area including UCL, BBC Music, Sadler’s Wells, the V&A East, and a new campus for the London College of Fashion. Paired with the brand new Elizabeth line, this unique collaboration between world-leading universities, arts and culture institution will be create opportunities for visitors, residents, and workers in east London.
ExCeL London & Royal Docks (Custom House Station)
The Elizabeth line station at Custom House will connect Londoners as well as business travellers to several sites including ExCeL London, The O2 Arena and the Royal Docks. A major regeneration area, the Royal Docks has seen statement investments into the area, including that of being the home to the new City Hall offices housed in The Crystal, a building recognised through both the BREEAM accreditation and Platinum LEED accreditation– the most stringent standards for sustainable design.
The area is also home to Royal Docks Enterprise Zone – set to become a "world-leading" business and cultural hub which is expected to grow through £5bn worth of investment over next 20 years and see the development of 450-acres of the regeneration zone in east London.
ExCeL London, the city’s largest events centre, is a significant venue for business travellers who visit London to attend large scales events across almost every area of business. It is estimated that the Elizabeth line will be able to bring 18,000 people into ExCeL centre every hour – vastly improving access to the site and helping to manage the flow of travellers.
Laura Citron, CEO London & Partners said: “The Elizabeth line fundamentally changes London’s economic geography. As a global megacity, London is home to districts which are world-class destinations in their own right – the West End for shopping and entertainment; the City and Canary Wharf for financial and professional services; Royal Docks for huge events; and Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for sports and culture. The new Elizabeth line connects these exceptional places with each other, with 1.5 million people, and with the world via Heathrow Airport. We know that London’s growth has been driven by the breadth of our offer – commerce, culture, and government all in one place – and now, all on one green, accessible, and very beautiful train line.”
Dee Corsi, COO, New West End Company, said: “The opening of the long-anticipated Elizabeth line this week marks an exciting new chapter for the Capital, offering a speedy gateway into London’s West End via Tottenham Court Road - and, later in the year, Bond Street. The high-speed line will not only improve the commuter experience for domestic and overseas visitors looking to make the most of London’s West End but will also significantly boost our recovery as we enter our first full summer with zero restrictions since 2019, welcoming more visitors and more spend to ensure we remain on track reach £8.6 billion annual turnover this year.”
Chris Hayward, City of London Corporation Policy Chairman, said: “The City Corporation has been a long-standing supporter of the Elizabeth line and we welcome its arrival which will enable the Square Mile and London to continue to grow. Demand for public transport is expected to grow in coming years in line with increasing appetite for active and sustainable travel. We are pleased that our investment in this project is paying off and adding momentum behind the recovery from the pandemic.”
Gavin Poole, CEO, Here East, said: “The opening of the Elizabeth line is a game changer for London. To reduce the time to get from Tottenham Court Road in the West End to Stratford to under 15 mins later this year opens up significant opportunities for businesses to look further afield for growth. Faster travel across the capital from Heathrow to the east will only add to the surge of businesses choosing QEOP (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) and its surroundings as the perfect location for their teams to be based. This investment will bolster the UK’s economy making it even more appealing for international businesses to call the UK home by linking up the capital’s major commercial and business districts, which of course includes Here East.”
Jeremy Rees, CEO, ExCeL London said: “Following unprecedented times for us all, this year is critical to the recovery of the live events industry across London and the UK. The opening of the Elizabeth line is undoubtedly a game-changer that will both revolutionise and spearhead that revival. In addition to reducing journey times and expanding catchment areas, we expect to see an even higher percentage of C-Suite delegates attending our events as a direct consequence.
“In short, the Elizabeth line will give people more of that most precious of commodities – time – allowing them increased opportunities to network, learn and of course trade – just as we saw pre-pandemic when some £165 billion was transacted per year at UK events. ExCeL is now arguably the world’s most connected event venue with the Elizabeth line, DLR, London Underground, an airport, road links, bus services, water taxis and even a cable car all within earshot.”
Shobi Khan, CEO, Canary Wharf Group said: “The Elizabeth line is great for London and a game changer for Canary Wharf. This state-of-the-art new line is an incredible engineering achievement and Canary Wharf Group is proud to have played its part, delivering the spectacular Canary Wharf station building with new restaurants, bars, and cafes and one of London’s largest green roof gardens.”
“The Elizabeth line will add capacity for up to 342,000 more passengers every day and connect Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street in 6 minutes, Paddington in 16 minutes and Heathrow Airport in 39 minutes.”
“The Elizabeth line adds to Canary Wharf’s great transportation connectivity so more Londoners can enjoy its extraordinary environment – over 300 amazing restaurants, bars and shops, 20 acres of parks and gardens, 5 km of water side boardwalks, 2,500 award winning homes to buy and rent, sustainable and flexible workspaces for any business, and the largest public art collection in the UK – It’s All Here.”
Notes to editors
Photo credit: Transport for London