Her Majesty The Queen Visits The Shard: The Heart of London Bridge Quarter

  • London Bridge Quarter (LBQ) is new 2m sq ft regeneration project that is creating a new district for London and Southwark.
  • LBQ will create over 12,500 jobs when fully complete.
  • The View from The Shard, the visitor attraction at the top of the building, is due to attract one million visitors a year – enhancing the local economy and creating an exciting new destination around London Bridge.
  • Her Majesty and Prince Philip learned about the regeneration of the area from Southwark Council Leader, Cllr Peter John, and met local people employed in the building – including those recruited through The Shard’s apprenticeship scheme. 
  • Mark Layden, Apprentice Guest Ambassador at The View from The Shard and Southwark resident , helped The Queen spot Buckingham Palace from the viewing platform and via the high-tech digital Tell:Scopes.
  • The Royal Party met other Southwark residents including pupils from Riverside Primary School, one of the best in the UK, residents of the nearby Aylesbury Estate which is being transformed in a huge regeneration project, and traders from neighbouring Borough Market.
  • On Level 72, the highest public point of The Shard, Her Majesty met a group of the borough’s young high achievers in the Southwark Scholars programme. The scheme is provided by Southwark Council and enables young people from economically difficult backgrounds go to university.
  • “The visit marks London Bridge and Southwark’s continued development into a standout destination,” said Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, visited The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building and centrepiece of the £2bn London Bridge Quarter regeneration development, today.  The visit formed part of the royal party’s tour of Southwark.
Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh were met and accompanied throughout the tour by Irvine Sellar, developer of The Shard and London Bridge Quarter, and Leader of Southwark Council, Cllr Peter John.

They also met local schoolchildren and residents from the nearby Aylesbury estate, local staff currently working in the Oblix and Aqua restaurants and in the Shangri-La hotel within the building, as well as representatives from the neighbouring Borough Market. 

The London Bridge Quarter project, is a major 2million sq ft regeneration scheme with The Shard at its heart. London Bridge Quarter is providing a catalyst to regenerate the area as well as providing significant investment into local infrastructure projects including the new London Bridge station concourse, new bus station, plaza, new entrances for Guy’s hospital as well as other physical local regeneration schemes.  A newly created employment programme is helping to secure jobs for local people in the completed buildings and surrounding area.  As a direct result, almost half of all the 114 staff employed at The View from The Shard   are local residents. 

The View from The Shard is the visitor experience at the top of The Shard and is the only place where you can see all of London all at once.  The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh travelled to The View, the UK’s highest viewing gallery, via the attraction’s dedicated high-speed lifts, and on the way met local people helped into work or education through the London Bridge Quarter development, as well as traders from the famous Borough Market which neighbours the development.

On level 69 of The View, The Queen was guided by Mark Layden, a 24 year-old local resident, who was unemployed before joining The View from The Shard’s apprenticeship scheme. Mark, now a Guest Ambassador, showed Her Majesty how to spot Buckingham Palace through one of The View’s Tell:Scopes – ultra high-tech digital telescopes which are being used in the UK for the first time.

On Level 72, the 244m high outdoor viewing platform and the highest vantage point from any building  in Western Europe, The Queen met local young high achievers on the Southwark Scholars programme provided by Southwark Council. The scheme enables young people from economically difficult backgrounds go to University. The scholarships are part of the council’s multi-million pound Youth Fund, investing in education and employment opportunities for young people in Southwark.

The Shard has become an international landmark building instantly recognised around the world. Developed by Sellar in partnership with the State of Qatar, and designed by master architect Renzo Piano, The Shard is Europe’s first vertical town. In addition to The View, the building comprises a 26-floor Grade A office complex, eight world-class restaurants and bars on the mid-levels, a five star Shangri-La Hotel and 10 luxury Residences.

Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property and developer of The Shard said:
“It was a tremendous privilege to host Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and tell them about the destination we are developing. Our vision for The Shard and London Bridge Quarter began 14 years ago with the objective to create a new business and cultural hub, in the heart of the world’s greatest city.  Her Majesty’s visit marks a year in which we have opened the doors of The View, eight world-class restaurants and bar concepts and begun leasing office space to some of the most significant businesses and brands in the world.  The Place is now fully let to News UK bringing 4,500 staff to the area. The hotel and office occupiers will be open for business early next year.

“Our investment in infrastructure improvements, our employment scheme, and our partnership with Southwark council has meant that hundreds of local residents already have or will benefit from our work or employment. This regeneration project will continue to attract new business and visitors to this exciting and culturally rich part of London.”

Clive Stephens, Chief Executive of The View from The Shard said: “We are truly honoured that Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have visited The View to enjoy this unparalleled experience of the world’s greatest city. At almost twice the height of any other vantage point in London, The View is the only place where you can see the entire city at once and has become a first stop destination for visitors to the capital. We have had a very successful opening 10 months, and look forward to welcoming many more guests from the UK and around the world to London’s highest viewing gallery.”

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said:  "I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, to Southwark. Southwark is evolving into one of London's prime destinations for discerning visitors and businesses.  I was exceptionally proud to show our royal visitors some of our main regeneration projects from the Shard's viewing gallery. It has also been an honour to introduce Her Majesty to a number of local groups that help to make Southwark the hotbed of talent, diversity and progress that it is. These included residents from Aylesbury in Walworth who we are working with to rebuild Europe's largest estate, schoolchildren from the 'Outstanding' Riverside primary school, Southwark Scholars who we have helped fund through university, as well as local people who we've helped into employment at the Shard"

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Media Contacts:

London Bridge Quarter and The Shard
Baron Phillips
+44(0)20 7920 3161/press@londonbridgequarter.com

The View from The Shard
Ruth Howlett The View from The Shard
+44 (0)20 3102 3973 / press@theviewfromtheshard.com

Kallaway PR
Jack Hickmott: +44 (0)20 7221 7883 / jack.hickmott@kallaway.com
The View from The Shard Picture Library: http://bit.ly/Xi4UVG

Southwark Council

Louise Neilan
+44 (0)20 7525 3150 louise.neilan@southwark.gov.uk

About The Shard, London Bridge Quarter
The iconic Shard, at 310m high (1,016 ft), is Europe’s first vertical town. Designed by Renzo Piano, its 72 floors comprise a 26-floor office complex, three world-class restaurants, a 19-floor five-star Shangri-La Hotel, 13 floors of exclusive residential apartments and the UK’s highest viewing galleries.

The View from The Shard opened on 1 February 2013 and occupies levels 68-72. It has already become one of London’s most sought after events venues and a top visitor attraction, with one million visitors expected in its first year.

World-class restaurants occupy levels 31-33, providing eight bar and restaurant formats across three brands; Rainer Becker’s new restaurant Oblix opened on level 32 in May, and in June, Aqua Restaurant Group’s aqua shard and Hutong opened on levels 31 and 33 respectively.

The UK’s first Shangri-La Hotel will open at The Shard, comprising 202 rooms, a cocktail, champagne and pool bar on floor 52, a 24-hour gym, a destination restaurant and lounge bar on floor 35, contemporary meeting and conference facilities on floor 34, and a gourmet deli on the ground floor.

Leasing of The Shard offices is progressing well; a number of high quality tenants have already signed and fitting out on several floors is underway while further negotiations are progressing with a number of different sector occupiers. Occupiers will be from a wide variety of different sectors, creating a genuine business community in the building, aligned to the vision of creating Europe’s first truly mixed-use vertical town.

About The View from The Shard
The View from The Shard opened on 1 February 2013 and occupies levels 68-72. It has already become one of London’s most sought after events venues and a top visitor attraction, with one million visitors expected in its first year. The View from the Shard is the highest vantage point in Western Europe and the only place where it is possible to see all of London all at once.

Gift certificates are available for Christmas and a special ‘Kids Go Free’ promotion will be running from 20 December – 5 January – to book tickets or for more information, please see www.theviewfromtheshard.com

How Southwark Council is generating jobs from development
As an area buzzing with regeneration, it makes sense for Southwark to work with developers to create as many opportunities for local people as possible. Southwark ensures, through Section 106 agreements, that all major developments provide employment and skills development for residents. Each developer is obliged to appoint a Workplace Coordinator, tasked with ensuring that everyone in the contruction chain, including sub-contractors, commits to finding the right jobs for local people. The Workplace Coordinator works closely with the council, Jobcentre Plus and local colleges to identify suitable vacancies and fill them. Often these opportunities allow those with limited experience or qualifications to come in at entry level and get trained on the job. The Coordinator also helps those looking for work, or those in these entry level roles, to develop their skills through short courses which boost their CVs and allow them to progress to more skilled work.

The council's priority is to get local people into work and keep them there for a minimum of six months - the widely recognised milestone at which point they are most likely to stay in work. The results speak for themselves: in 2012/13 133 local people obtained and stayed in a construction role for at least six months, and we expect even more success in 13/14. We have a target for the new London Bridge Station alone to create 150 sustained jobs over 5 years, and there will be many other opportunities at sites like Elephant and Castle and the Shard in coming years.

About Southwark Scholars
Southwark Council’s groundbreaking scholarship scheme, introduced in 2011, was the first of its kind in the country. It is designed to remove the financial burden of going to university for high achievers who would otherwise have struggled to be able to afford it.
Over the last 3 years the scheme has enabled 26 young people to go to university to study subjects as diverse as medicine and choreography. The scheme covers the cost of tuition and lasts for the duration of the course so that students can concentrate on studying and achieving their full potential.
The scholarships are part of the council’s multi-million pound Youth Fund, investing in education and employment opportunities for young people in Southwark.

About the Aylesbury regeneration project
Aylesbury estate is changing for the better; in the past three years, plenty has already happened to begin to change the grey exterior of one of the most famous housing estates in the country and one of the largest in Europe.  Built in 1960/1970s, the Aylesbury Estate is situated to the east of Walworth Road and north of Burgess Park, and is home to over 7,500 people. Most of the homes are flats, but there are also about 50 houses located on the estate.
Southwark Council is transforming the Aylesbury over the next 20 years into a stronger and more vibrant community living in high quality homes and whose residents enjoy great streets, parks and open spaces, excellent public transport and a wide range of facilities.

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