Development of the south London landmark is expected to provide a large regenerative boost to the area as developers try to match the vacancies with the skills and experience of people living within the immediate locality.

Plans are underway to turn the 38-acre site into a new cultural, entertainment and commercial events focus for London, with supporting hotel, retail and leisure amenities.

Michael Roberts CEO of Parkview International, developers of the site, said: This development is going to have a huge positive impact on East Battersea, transforming it into one of London’s most desirable locations to live and work. The employment created on the site will have a multiplier effect on the local economy so that direct and indirect benefits will be positive, significant and widespread.”

Around 30% of Parkview’s staff have been recruited locally so far, and, this week, a new Power Station Job Shop was opened in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and Wandsworth Council, to provide a single point of access for local people interested in the forthcoming job opportunities.

Opening the new centre, David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said the development would be great news for the whole of London.

“There will be real opportunities for local people to share in this regeneration project. Jobcentre Plus, working together with Peabody Trust, UCAT and LSE, will provide training to enable people to take advantage of the wide range of jobs on offer. I would encourage anyone looking for work to investigate the jobs which will be available from construction through to retail once the site is finished.”

Remediation of the site from oil and chemical deposits is already complete, with excavation for car parks, and restoration of the building to ensure structural integrity the next tasks on the developers list. This is due to start at the end of 2005.

A spokesperson for Parkview told edie news that the entire redevelopment project was likely to take about four years.

By David Hopkins

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