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Battersea Power Station: a repurposed London legend

Tom Shearsmith
14 October 2022

Nearly 40 years after the London icon turned its lights off, Battersea Power Station reopens today, Friday 14 October, to the public for the first time.

From the 1930s to 1980s, Battersea Power Station was a working Power Station. At its peak, it was producing a fifth of London’s power, supplying electricity to some of London’s most recognisable landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

Having closed in 1983, Battersea Power Station went on to be purchased in 1987 by Battersea Leisure for a theme park scheme, and again in 1993 by Parkview. In 2012, the Power Station is purchased by the current shareholders, SP Setia, Sime Darby Property and the Employers Provident Fund, bringing an end to decades of disuse.

2012 // Battersea's disused shell

Visitors will be free to explore the restored landmark and enjoy the first of its unique shops, bars, restaurants and leisure venues.

Electric Boulevard, a new pedestrianised high street, that runs between Gehry Partners’ Prospect Place and Foster + Partners’ Battersea Roof Gardens to the riverside neighbourhood’s Zone 1 London Underground Station, also opens today.

Construction work officially began with Phase 1 on 4 July 2013, which marked the 80th anniversary of the historic building first generating power. Work on the new Northern Line Extension began in 2015 and Battersea Power Station Underground Station opened on 20 September 2021. In the first six months following its launch, over 2 million journeys were taken extension.

20,000 new jobs have been created in total at Battersea Power Station, becoming one of London’s largest office, retail, leisure and cultural quarters. Across the 42-acre site a new 24/7 community is being formed with over 250 shops, cafes and restaurants, a theatre, hotel, events venue, a 24,000 sq ft food hall within the Power Station, a medical centre, and 19 acres of public space including 450 metres of river frontage and a six-acre public park.

Inside the Turbine Halls, shoppers can find an array of British and international brands, with the first wave opening in October including the likes of Hugo Boss, Theory, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Nike, Aesop, Space NK, Ace + Tate, Lululemon, Mulberry, Jo Malone London, Uniqlo and Mango.

Other brands opening at the destination include Castore, Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi’s, Hackett, Superdry, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and L’Occitane.

The new high street will offer a mix of bars and restaurants, office space, shops, a park, community hub and a new 164 room hotel. Retailers already announced to be opening on Electric Boulevard later this year include Zara and a new-concept M&S Foodhall.

Rounding up's recent Battersea Power Station news, take a look at the following stories:

Simon Murphy, Chief Executive Officer at Battersea Power Station Development Company, concluded: “Today marks a historic and hugely celebratory moment as we open Battersea Power Station and Electric Boulevard to the public. Many said it was impossible, several tried and failed, however through the commitment of our shareholders and with the support of many Public and Private sector stakeholders in the UK, we’ve succeeded in bringing Battersea Power Station back to life so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

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