Smithfield. A Call to Arms

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014


A great turnout for our Save Smithfield talk at Clerkenwell Design Week last night. Clem Cecil of SAVE and our CEO Richard Upton both gave impassioned speeches about the campaign. They summarised the evidence that shows there is a way to retain and restore all of Smithfield’s currently empty historic buildings in a viable and deliverable scheme. This scheme involves no demolition, only sensitive refurbishment and proposes to enliven the market buildings with a rich mix of food markets, restaurants, event spaces and quirky office space. In the coming months we want to galvanise support for the campaign by lobbying the Secretary of State to overturn the resolution to grant planning consent to Henderson Global Investors by the City of London Corporation application so that an alternative proposal has a chance of saving these beautiful buildings.
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Build me up Buttercup…

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Darren Cool - 07792308722 -

This colourful young lady pedalled in the procession of cycling ‘handlebar gardens’ that traveled through Brighton today to deliver plants to flats in the Tarner area of the city. The event is part of the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show Fringe. The bikes, loaded with plants, pedalled through the streets with musical accompaniment and were met by a vintage ice cream van and residents armed with trowels, ready to start the planting and brightening up of the area. This is just the start of a huge project we’re supporting to help residents improve the outdoor areas of the flats that neighbour our Circus Street site. Tommy Tickle, Chair of the Kingswood & Milner Tenants and Residents Association said: ‘…the outdoor areas around our buildings are very grim at the moment and local residents are enthusiastic about making positive changes.” Read more

It’s all smooth sailing from here on out…

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Richard Tall Ships 1_web

This is our CEO Richard Upton with Greenwich Mayor Angela Cornforth and two budding sailors, Ethan and Sapphire, on board the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Continuing our investment in Greenwich, we’re sponsoring 5 young sailors to train for the Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta in September this year. The festival includes five days of events and the arrival of 50 majestic tall ships from Falmouth in Cornwall. The young trainees will also get the chance to sail in the Regatta. We passionately believe in investing in youth and providing opportunities for young people through training initiatives. Ship ahoy me old matey!

We two become one…

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014


We are very happy to announce that, this morning, our company was acquired by our long-time joint venture partners Development Securities PLC.  The London Stock Exchange was informed at 7am that Development Securities PLC acquired Cathedral Group (Holdings) Ltd, the company that controls most of the Cathedral projects.  This is a very exciting opportunity for both our companies.  We have worked closely together with Development Securities  for the last five years on some of our most successful projects: The Movement, Greenwich, The Old Vinyl Factory and Morden Wharf.  As part of the deal, Richard Upton, our Chief Executive, will join the Development Securities board and Barry Bennett, our Chairman, will join as a Non-Executive Director.  Our team will stay working together under the Cathedral brand at our church in London Bridge.  You can read more about Development Securities here and more detail about the deal here.

Dance yourself dizzy!

Monday, May 5th, 2014

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A new dance? A pendulum assault course? Well both… kind of. From this week, in the Old Municipal Market Space at Circus Street, William Forsythe’s choreographic object fills the market space with hundreds of delicate pendulums, swinging in timed sequences. At the launch party, our guests enjoyed attempts to navigate the installation. The Brighton Festival programme explains, ‘As you move around without touching the pendulums, your strides and side-steps will produce a lively choreography of manifold and intricate avoidance strategies. Forsythe’s blend of choreography and artwork, in which you become the dancer, contrasts reactive spontaneity and pre-programmed precision. Everywhere and Nowhere at the Same Time No.2 is the latest reinvention of a piece that evolves in reaction to the space it occupies.’ Read more

Par-kourrrr what a great show

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


Urban Playground performed their parkour dance piece Inner City in the old municipal market space at Circus Street yesterday. Curated by South East Dance this performance kicks of a programme of dance events we’ve organised for the local community around our Circus Street scheme in Brighton. Our aim is to bring special dance opportunities to local people right on the site where we will build South East Dance’s new Dance Space. The company held a series of workshops after their performances and over 50 adults and children from the neighbouring Tarner community, learned dance and Parkour moves in the extraordinary urban decay of the old market building.

Bloomin’ lovely

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Deptford Project_Cathedral Group_for web copy

This is our stall at the Giffin Square food market in Deptford. We got so excited about the project completing and the start of construction on site we wanted to share the news. We hired a space in the local market, local creatives Studio Raw designed and created the funky cart, balloons and flower boxes and our project team distributed them to locals and visitors to the market – along with an update about the development. As well as flowers, balloons and chocolate eggs, we also made a Deptford Project newspaper to hand out. Its aim was to remind everyone in the area about the great community spirit that grew around the arches and the train café and to show the details of the final scheme. We really enjoyed a lovely day with the markets team and the people in Deptford.

It’s thyme to grow at St Mark’s Church

Friday, April 4th, 2014


Phase one of the landscaping improvements to the community garden at St Mark’s Church in Bromley are complete. After just 3 months the new public realm elements of the refurbishment are finished and the boarders are ready for new planting. The surrounding walls have been removed to make the space more accessible and replaced with granite steps that lead down to a more inviting garden. Features also include new, modern seating areas and pathways around the church. The church congregation plan to try out the new garden on Easter Sunday once the turf has settled into it’s new home. A huge thank you to all involved and especially to the Mayor’s Outer London Fund for funding this project. The Church is one of the closest neighbours to our St Mark’s Square development in Bromley. Read more

Telegraph Works planning. It’s yes!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014


At a very tense and nerve wracking Planning Board meeting last night, the Royal Borough of Greenwich resolved to grant planning permission for the Alcatel-Lucent Greenwich/ The Telegraph Works proposals. The scheme will see the development of 272 high quality new homes, and will include a series of play spaces, new public realm, cycle/ car parking and infrastructure works.  The area covers part of the existing Alcatel-Lucent factory site at Greenwich Peninsula West on Christchurch Way and the development will contribute to the modernisation of the remaining site area. Our next step will be to finalise the S106 agreement in the coming weeks.

Giffin Square Food Fair

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

food fair

It’s the first Saturday of the month and Giffin Square Food Fair is gearing up for another fun filled day of food, activities and sunshine! The Deptford Project team will be setting up a very colourful stall at this month’s market, which runs from 10am-4pm.  Activity on our nearby site has just begun and we really want to continue showing our support to Deptford. Come on down to the market (a short walk from Deptford train station) and enjoy the activities for all.

Ain’t no mountain high enough…

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Team Photo

In keeping with our motto to be professional, entrepreneurial and radical, we ventured out of our church last week and headed off on a team bonding trip to Sainte Foy in the French Alps. Everyone stepped out of their comfort zones and tried their hand at skiing, boarding and snow walking. It was a fantastic trip where we worked as hard as we skied and we are now back feeling very inspired and ready to change the world.

St Mark’s Square in the sunshine

Friday, March 14th, 2014


This is our St Mark’s Square, Bromley scheme today in the sunshine. It’s a hive of activity with diggers, cranes and a piling rig. The new temporary road in the centre of the photo is complete. Towards the back you can see excavation in progress of what will be the basement of the 9-screen Vue Cinema in the completed development. Keep watching for more updates from SMS Bromley cam.

Frock and Roll Students at The Old Vinyl Factory

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

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This is a burgeoning student company called Frock and Roll entertaining guests at their launch party at The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes this week. The group of eight Production Arts students from Uxbridge College demonstrated their skills in designing costumes, as well as make-up and hair for any historical period at the event in The Shipping Building. They provided entertainment including makeovers, live music and dance and a jive workshop. Events like this – for young start-up businesses – reflect the future use of The Old Vinyl Factory site which will include places designed for small and medium-sized creative companies and emerging local businesses. Read more

Colourful Converse Clash at The Old Vinyl Factory

Thursday, February 27th, 2014


This is The Powerhouse at our Old Vinyl Factory site transformed in colour. Converse have created a massive, colourful, vinyl record inspired mural to launch their Wall of Clash campaign. The amazingly talented Remi Rough and System from the Agents of Change collective painted the building’s outer walls to celebrate Converse’s newest collection, the new All Star Chuck ‘70. Their intentions were to bring colour back to The Old Vinyl Factory with an abstract explosion of vinyl records shapes. We went along to their launch party which was held in a make-shift wooden bar and viewing deck to marvel at the artwork in all it’s glory. Inside, Converse – as part of their mini event series Sneaker Clash – were also creating vinyl sleeves with a rotating graffiti machine. Innovation, colour, culture and music, the spirit of the past and future of The Old Vinyl Factory. To watch the making of video click here: TOVF Converse Mural And for more photos … Read more

Community garden taking shape at St Mark’s Church

Friday, February 21st, 2014

St Mark's Garden_web

This is the garden of St Mark’s Church, one of our closest neighbours at our St Mark’s Square scheme in Bromley. Work is underway to update and improve their community garden. The railings have come down, to be replaced with new granite steps which, along with all the lovely new seating and landscaping, will help to make the garden more accessible and enjoyable for the Church congregation and the local community. We are working in partnership with the Church, the London Borough of Bromley and the Diocese of Rochester on the garden. We are also thankful to the Mayor’s Outer London Fund for funding the project. Studio Egret West have designed the garden with elements that will mirror the St Mark’s Square public realm once complete. The garden is due for completion in March, so watch this space for a Ground Force-esque before and after post. Read more


Preston Barracks, Brighton

We've exchanged contracts with Brighton and Hove City Council and the University of Brighton to bring forward the development of Preston Barracks, a significant mixed-use regeneration scheme that will create a new gateway to the north of the Brighton.

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Telegraph Works, Greenwich

Plans to deliver an £85m GDV, 272-home scheme on an historic site in the south west of the Greenwich Peninsula came a major step closer in early April 2014 as the Royal Borough of Greenwich Planning Committee resolved to grant planning consent for our Telegraph Works scheme on Christchurch Way. The project is part of a joint effort between Alcatel-Lucent and Cathedral Group which will incorporate the modernisation of part of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks’ existing site, as well as the construction of 272 new homes. The regeneration project will also include a series of play spaces, commercial units and a new public realm in a scheme designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

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Morden Wharf, Greenwich

In March 2012, along with our partners Development Securities PLC, we acquired Morden Wharf, a 19 acre regeneration site on Greenwich Peninsula. The major riverside regeneration site, formerly a sweeteners refinery, is adjacent to the O2 Arena with 500 metres of Thames river frontage and will play a crucial part in the delivery of the Royal Borough of Greenwich's masterplan proposals for the western side of the Greenwich Peninsula, published in April 2012. In July 2013 we appointed leading international architecture practice OMA as masterplanner and lead architect on the mixed-use development of Morden Wharf and they are currently developing their initial thoughts for the site.

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Circus Street, Brighton

We will be delivering an 'Innovation Quarter' in the heart Brighton, one of the UK's foremost creative cities, through a Public Private Partnership with JV partners McLaren and Brighton and Hove City Council. We are proposing a new world-class mixed-use destination for creative and technical innovation, just a stone's throw from the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Pier.

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Caxton Works, Canning Town


On a site just off Silvertown Way, at the gateway to London's Royal Docks in Canning Town, sits a 2-acre site previously occupied by two thriving businesses - Goswell Bakeries and Moss Electrical. Between them these businesses employed over 100 people as part of a once thriving community. We have big plans to rebuild a vibrant community which will provide new homes, encourage businesses and attract forward-thinking enterprises.

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The Old Vinyl Factory, Hayes

With our joint venture partners, Development Securities plc, we acquired the 17-acre London Gate business park in Hayes, Middlesex in April 2011. Our complex, mixed-use masterplan for a radical £250m redevelopment of the site that pays homage to its important history. Studio Egret West are our masterplanners and lead architect working as part of an award-winning creative team with Duggan Morris Associates and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Read more

The Movement, Greenwich

In April 2011 we were granted planning consent for The Movement, a vibrant, highly sustainable and truly mixed-use scheme located on the former Greenwich Industrial Estate, currently derelict, which is adjacent to Greenwich DLR and Mainline Station.  With our partners Development Securities Plc we will deliver a new threshold for the Royal borough at the main point of entry for visitors to the World Heritage Centre.

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St Mark’s Square, Bromley

We are partners with the London Borough of Bromley in a £90m mixed-use PPP scheme to transform the southern end of Bromley Town Centre. Our St Mark's Square scheme is a new residential and leisure quarter with a landscaped public square surrounded by a nine screen multiplex VUE cinema, 25,000 sq ft of cafés and restaurants, a 130-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, 200 private and affordable apartments and a new 400 space secure underground car park. We started on-site in April 2013 and anticipate completion of the development in Autumn 2015.

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The Bell, Ticehurst

The Bell in Ticehurst is possibly the most charming pub in the south east and has recently been voted as one of the top 10 pubs with rooms in the whole of the UK by the Sunday Times and Red Magazine.

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Clapham One

With  joint venture partners United House, we have built a landmark £80m mixed-use regeneration scheme which has transformed leisure services across two sites in Clapham town centre, south west London. The Public Private Partnership scheme, provides Clapham with a new, highly sustainable leisure centre, a new, state-of-the-art library, a new family medical centre and some of the most high quality residential accommodation in the borough including affordable housing in partnership with Notting Hill Housing Group.

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Spirit of Sittingbourne


In 2011, as part of the Spirit of Sittingbourne consortium, we were selected by Swale Borough Council as their development partner to regenerate Sittingbourne town centre over the next five years. We’re going to build a new station square to transform arrival in the town. A new cultural quarter, civic quarter with a new library, brand new public realm throughout the town centre and residential schemes will generate £250m of economic improvement over the next ten years and will create 1100 jobs.

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The Deptford Project

In summer 2008 we installed a 1960s commuter train carriage into a site next to Deptford High Street train station in south east London. We put it there to kickstart a £47m mixed-use PPP regeneration scheme in partnership with the London Borough of Lewisham. Following Network Rail's redevelopment of the station, we will begin a programme to transform that part of Deptford Town Centre with a new residential building, restoration of an historic Victorian Carriage ramp and a newly landscaped public square. On the 8th March 2012 the London Borough of Lewisham resolved to grant planning consent for our scheme. We are now on site.

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Eynsham Hall

We acquired Eynsham Hall from Hanover International in April 2005, a conference and training centre developed around a beautiful Grade II listed Jacobean-style mansion in North Leigh, Oxfordshire.

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Sundridge Park

In January 2005 we acquired Sundridge Park hotel and conference centre from Hanover International in a deal worth £15m. The impressive estate in Bromley boasted an historic 16-acre landscape which was originally designed by Humphry Repton in the 1790s, a 1970's purpose built conference centre, a Grade II listed Coach House, built in 1836, and a Grade I listed Mansion House at the heart of the estate, surrounded by 175 acres of championship standard golf courses.

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Devonport House

Devonport House is a 75,000 sq ft Grade II listed building in Greenwich town centre, South East London, forming part of the former Royal Naval College, that sits within a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.  We beat off world-class competition to secure this unique £30m mixed-used PPP development - a self-financing scheme that mixes high quality student accommodation for the University of Greenwich with a state-of-the-art conference centre hotel.

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The Fold

This site presented an incredible opportunity, immediately adjacent to Sidcup train station. The Fold provides the local community of Sidcup with a vibrant mixed-use development comprising 98 residential apartments, restaurant, office and retail space in a striking and contemporary nine-storey building featuring curved metallic cladding and rooftop gardens.

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The Coronet

The Coronet is a Grade II listed Art Deco former cinema in Eltham which was in desperate need of redevelopment. In 2013 it was transformed into a mixed-use development with a series of modern apartments and a leisure centre.  The important period features were fully restored, returning the envelope of the building to its former glory.

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