30 May 2022

The Earls Court Development Company announces development team in place, as momentum builds on plans

The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) has announced a raft of hires to the development team as the company prepares to bring a fresh plan forward for the iconic 40-acre site later this year.

The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) has announced a raft of hires to the development team as the company prepares to bring a fresh plan forward for the iconic 40-acre site later this year. The industry leading team is headed up by Ben Giddens, Director of Development and Masterplanning with the senior team comprising Aoife McEvoy and Benedict Keehan, both as Development Directors and Sharon Giffen as Head of Design.

Earls Court is one of London’s most exciting and important development opportunities, which will deliver a combination of new homes for Londoners and commercial opportunities alongside green and cultural spaces. The Earls Court Development Company has a bold and ambitious vision to bring the wonder back to Earls Court, with a masterplan that opens up the site to the local community, celebrates the legacy of world-class ingenuity, creates a better piece of city, and responds to the climate emergency. Collaboration with the community forms an integral part of the fresh approach to development that the team are taking.

Ben Giddens joins from Argent Related where he was Development Director with an overarching role in the 180-acre Brent Cross Town regeneration site. Prior to this Ben spent a decade at Quintain, as Executive Director for Development, where he was responsible for the development progression of Wembley Park, the largest Build to Rent scheme in the UK.

Aoife McEvoy joins from Battersea Power Station Development Company where she was Development Director for five years on the mixed-use redevelopment of the iconic Grade 2* listed Power Station. Aoife most recently led on the successful re-masterplanning of c. 4m sq. ft of mixed-use development across 4 phases of the remaining 21 acres at the Battersea site. Prior to this, working for Cerberus, John Laing and Avison Young, Aoife gained extensive development experience across all mixed-use asset classes within the UK.

Benedict Keehan joins from EcoWorld where he led the final two residential phases of the new Brentford Football Stadium regeneration as well as a residential development in Tulse Hill in Joint Venture with Network Rail. Prior to this Benedict worked at Quintain where he led the Fulton Quarter mixed-use masterplan at Wembley Park, which has planning consent for c.1,000 homes and 6,600sqm of employment space.

Sharon Giffen has over 20 years of architectural experience leading world class design on large masterplans and mixed-use schemes. Prior to this role, Sharon was part of Transport for London’s Commercial Development team championing design quality through to delivery on a large portfolio of sites across London. Previously she spent 14 years at Foster + Partners leading ambitious architectural proposals on regeneration and infrastructure projects around the world.

 

Commenting on the appointments, Ben Giddens, Director Development and Masterplanning said “We have a phenomenally experienced and talented development team in place as momentum builds on the masterplanning process and delivery plan. The wider team have spent a lot of time understanding local priorities and we are working on a plan that reflects the engagement we have undertaken. We are looking forward to sharing a new masterplan proposition for the site later this year, a plan that balances environmental, social and economic needs.”

 

Notes to Editor

For all media enquiries please contact London Communications Agency:

Jesse Peacock
jwp@londoncommunications.co.uk
07931 123 143

Avnesh Modhvadia
avm@londoncommunications.co.uk
07393413479

 

About The Earls Court Development Company

The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) is an Earl’s Court based business, responsible for driving the regeneration of the former Earls Court Exhibition Centre site, covering around 40 acres, on behalf of the Earls Court Partnership – a joint venture between Delancey (on behalf of its client funds including the Dutch pension fund manager, APG) and Transport for London (TfL) that was formed in December 2019. The first decision we took after acquiring the site was to hand back the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates - originally part of the previous owners’ masterplan - to Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Regeneration of the Earls Court site

We have had thousands of conversations with residents, neighbours and local business about the future of the Earls Court site. In late 2021, we launched our latest phase of consultation, showcasing the priorities that will guide the regeneration of the site. This involved a series of in-person public events, webinars and masterplanning workshops with representatives of the local community, to ascertain their priorities for the emerging masterplan.

Over the coming months, more detailed plans will be shared with the public, showcased
at in-person and virtual events, alongside drop-ins at train stations and markets.

Further information about the consultation, and the latest materials, can be found here: https://theearlscourtdevelopmentcompany.com/the-site/the-vision-for-earls-court

Early delivery at Earls Court

ECDC’s site activation programme is central to the early delivery of our commitments both now and for the longer-term masterplan. We have succeeded in opening parts of the Earls Court site to the public for the first time in over a century.

Since acquiring the site in 2019, we have developed close ties with our neighbours, local businesses and the wider community. Investing in the future of the area forms a core principle of our vision for Earls Court. To date, we have done the following:

Homes at Empress Place: Refurbished and bought back into use properties along Empress Place, which were left derelict. During the height of the first national lockdown, these were provided as homes for key workers.

Earls Court Community Fund: Last year, we established a £180,000 a year community fund. In October, grants were awarded to nineteen local organisations, including Dads House, Finsborough Theatre, Barons Court Project, Family Friends, and the Earl’s Court Community Trust, to support their work with local communities, young people and those at risk or vulnerable. Applications have opened for this year’s round of funding.

Warwick Road Apron: Last summer, the ‘Pleasure Garden’ installation, designed by local artists Baker & Borowski, was showcased at Warwick Road Apron, as part of K+C Art Week. We are currently working with K+C Art Week to activate the space again this June, further details will be revealed soon.

London Wonderground: In collaboration with Underbelly, we launched London Wonderground last summer. In total, we welcomed over 114,000 people to the event, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. We also created 120 temporary jobs and took 11 young people from the local area through the Underbelly Training Academy. Underbelly has returned to Earls Court this year. Launching earlier this month and running until July, the festival showcases world-class performances and live shows, as well as providing the local community the opportunity to showcase on the bandstand and in the studio – a new, 75-seater event space.

Empress Studios: Working in partnership with Projekt, we have converted six derelict Victorian townhouses into 8,500 sq. ft of workspace for creatives and innovators within Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. Opening earlier this month, upwards of 30 new workspaces have been created, providing affordable studio and office space for the local arts and science industries.

Community Hub: We have refurbished the former replacement homes ensuite along Aisgill Avenue into a Community Hub. Due to open later this month, a dedicated manager will be based at the hub, with a range of activities and classes running throughout the week for people of all ages. We hope the space will become a focal point for the community to come together and meet with friends and family.

Lille Road: We have turned our part of Lille Road into an active high street, providing opportunities for small businesses at The Pop-Up and providing space for small businesses and charities.

Mannequin Factory: We are working on bringing immersive theatre alongside creative and cultural spaces to the former Mannequin Factory an empty building to the northwest of the site. We’ll be announcing more details shortly.

 

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