Cube Real Estate has submitted exciting new plans for a mixed-use re-development within the southern part of Kingston’s town centre. The plans for the Eden Campus comprise two-interlinked office buildings, car parking designed for electric vehicles, and a new residential building set within landscaped gardens adjacent to the restored, and historic, Hogsmill River.

Unilever, the consumer goods company behind brands including Persil, Dove, Magnum and Marmite, has confirmed that, should the scheme be granted planning permission, it will occupy the Campus office buildings in Winter 2023/2024. The move would bring together around 2,000 employees from five existing sites in London and Surrey into two office buildings built to the highest sustainability standards and a new, more sustainable car park with electric charging facilities will replace the existing multi-storey car park, for use by employees during the week, and shoppers at the weekend.

Sebastian Munden, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Unilever UK & Ireland commented that, “Following consultation with our employees, we are excited to work with Cube on a Unilever Campus in Kingston. For Unilever, this represents a rare opportunity to bring together teams in a highly sustainable, accessible and inspiring office designed for future ways of working, which will be a hive of collaboration for our employees, and for retailers, suppliers, consumers and other organisations.

Sebastian added, “We have had a presence in Kingston for many years, but we are looking forward to being an even bigger part of the local community, and the diversity of skills that the town and surrounding areas have to offer.”

Jonathan Lawes, Director of Cube Real Estate, said, “Unilever’s decision is an enormous boost for Kingston and we’re incredibly excited about what this can do for the town. This decision could not come at a better time for the area given the year we have all been through.

Jonathan continues, “This development not only brings new jobs to the area but brings with it improved new green space, affordable homes and a revitalised town centre. I have no doubt this will be the catalyst for the town centre to go from strength to strength.”

Kingston Council leader Caroline Kerr said: “This is a fantastic endorsement of Kingston as a great place to live and work. This is especially welcome news at this critical time in the COVID pandemic and brings huge opportunities for local employment. This is a fantastic boost for our economy and is a clear signal that Kingston is very much open for business and welcomes new employers to the town. Of course the plans will follow the appropriate planning process.”

Darling Associates involved in the design of the scheme have claimed that the Eden Campus will sensitively integrate into the local context, respecting the historic townscape of Kingston with all four key buildings situated within a high quality green urban setting, designed by award-winning landscape architects Gillespies. Throughout the scheme, there will be an emphasis on fostering biodiversity. As part of the project, The Hogsmill, one of London’s lost rivers, will be restored with natural banks, reed beds and local species planted.

Cube Real Estate’s recently-submitted plans also include 156 new one-, two- and three-bedroom homes with 35% affordable housing which will be built next to the newly landscaped Hogsmill River.

The scheme aspires to be carbon net zero in operation, with efficient office layouts, high-performance insulation, considered material selection and rooftop photovoltaics. In addition to this, the scheme will connect to Kingston’s proposed district heating supply.

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