The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has heralded the start of a new era for London’s historic Royal Docks as work gets underway on the new £3.5billion Silvertown neighbourhood.

On a visit to the area’s Millennium Mills today, the Mayor was shown the vision for the area as a vibrant hub of the Royal Docks, supporting 6,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs.

Serving a population of about 13,000 people, the Silvertown development, led by The Silvertown Partnership (TSP), a joint venture between Lendlease and Starwood Capital, will have a total of 7million square feet of residential and commercial space, public parks and improved access to the water including the new Silvertown Bridge and a new bridge over Royal Victoria Dock.

Built in 1933, Millennium Mills is an east London landmark, best known in recent years for its appearance in film and TV shows after closing in 1981. Several failed attempts have been made over the last 40 years to bring the building back into use including plans for an aquarium and luxury flats. Now both the mills and the distinctive Grade II-listed Silo D will be restored as part of the development. These will deliver 1.8m sq. ft of next-generation business workspace, as well as space for cultural and community events.

Once completed in the early 2030s, Silvertown will become a vibrant new town centre for the Royal Docks. The first homes will be ready to be occupied in 2024.

Mr Khan, said, “I am delighted to see work getting underway at this landmark East London location that has vexed planners and politicians alike for the last 40 years.

Silvertown regeneration

“The regeneration of this area is long overdue and I’m excited by the plans for Silvertown which respect its past whilst embracing East London’s vibrant and creative future.

“Not only will this project create a vibrant new neighbourhood with 50 per cent genuinely affordable homes but it will also create highly skilled jobs while supporting the regeneration of the Royal Docks as we build a better, fairer and more sustainable city for everyone.”

The Royal Docks is the Mayor’s largest land-led regeneration project, with over 175 hectares of land in GLA ownership. 42,500 new jobs are forecast to be created in the area over the next 20 years, as well as a total of 30,000 new homes, much of which will be genuinely affordable housing.

Speaking on behalf of The Silvertown Partnership, Ed Mayes the Development Director for Silvertown, said, “It’s very exciting that after lying dormant for over 30 years Silvertown is now starting to come back to life, as a vibrant town centre for the Royal Docks and a new destination for Londoners. Silvertown is being revived and re-imagined as a waterside destination to deliver much needed new housing for Newham and the rejuvenation of the historic Millennium Mills. An iconic East London neighbourhood is about to awaken.”

Rokhsana Fiaz, Mayor of Newham and Co-chair of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone Board, said, “Delivering much needed homes people can afford and a sustainable new neighbourhood, Silvertown will contribute uniquely to the revival of the historic Royal Docks and the iconic Millennium Mills. It’s an exciting example of the ongoing transformation of the Royal Docks which will deliver 50 percent affordable homes and support our inclusive growth ambitions for the borough through new opportunities and jobs.”

Read more: Festival14 will bring music, drama and laughter to Canary Wharf