Underneath the Arches, Southwark’s America Street plans to come alive

Work has begun to transform dilapidated and disused spaces under railway arches into new commercial spaces.

The Arch Company has started work to redevelop four railway arches in America Street, just off Southwark Bridge Road, following an investment of more than £2.5 million to revitalise the units and bring them back into commercial use.

Planning consent was secured by The Arch Company in July 2023 for a change of use and to allow new frontage designs to be installed, making the units suitable for restaurant and leisure businesses to operate.

The Arch Company has partnered with Glencar Construction to complete the refurbishment works.

In restoring the arches, a key priority has been meeting relevant energy efficiency standards, claim the developers.

All four arches are intended to achieve an EPC ‘B’ rating, with energy efficient elements of the restoration including the re-lining of all arch spaces, new insulated floor slabs suitable for restaurant use, and the installation of new LED lighting and glazed front infills.

Craig McWilliam, chief executive at The Arch Company, said: “We’re investing £2.5m into these spaces to provide much-needed additional commercial space suitable for leisure use.

“Repurposing these arches is part of our ongoing programme to create fit-for-purpose spaces in which businesses can thrive.”

Glencar chief executive Eddie McGillycuddy, said: “We are very happy to be working for The Arch Company for the first time and to be working on the revitalisation of these historic viaduct structures into repurposed spaces for business to develop and thrive.”

The Arch Company has 5,200 properties across England and Wales. Two thirds of the properties are in London with others concentrated in metropolitan centres like Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bristol.

A survey by The Arch Company found that an average of five people are employed in each railway arch business.

Pictured top: Before and after images of America Street – the image to the right being a CGI of the new look the developers are going for (Picture: The Arch Company)

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