This Saturday, Battersea Power Station celebrates the first anniversary of its reopening, 40 years after it was decommissioned, with more than 11 million people having visited over the last 12 months.

Simon Murphy

Simon Murphy

Those people have taken nearly 20,000 trips in our Lift 109 Chimney Lift, been served 118,000 cocktails in Control Room B, eaten 170,000 pancakes in Where the Pancakes Are and tapped in and out eight million times at the Battersea Power Station Underground station.

In the last year, 35 new shops, eateries and leisure experiences have opened, and more are still to come in 2023, including the UK’s first tashas (a café concept originating in South Africa), Searcy’s Champagne Bar and Borough Kitchen Cook Shop & Cook School.

New openings have included: the 24,000 sq ft Arcade foodhall; Apple Battersea; ping-pong venue Bounce; LEGO; The Cinema in The Power Station; clothing brands ME+EM, Scamp & Dude, Arc’teryx, APC and Jigsaw; skincare, fragrance and candle brand MALIN+GOETZ; footwear retailer Office; an M&S foodhall; NOCI Pasta; perfume house Penhaligon’s; sportswear specialist Under Armour; and many more.

Apple, SharkNinja and The Engine Room – an innovative co-working space by IWG – have also taken occupancy adding to the community and buzz generated across the development.

This year, 50 Electric Boulevard, a 200,000 sq ft Foster + Partners, BREEAM ‘Outstanding’-rated office building will be completed. And in summer 2024, Battersea Power Station will be the only official fan zone for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

The hurdles to delivering a new neighbourhood of such scale were significant and required the support and alignment of all stakeholders and, crucially, for the public and private sectors to work together in lockstep.

A key example of this was the partnership with Transport for London to deliver the Northern line extension (NLE) and its new Zone 1 tube stations, which opened in September 2021, bringing the Underground to this part of London to serve the entire local community.

But it’s not just the underground station that has been key in the first year since reopening. Passenger embarkations for the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers river bus service have increased by 70% year on year and disembarkations are up 85%, totalling 605,000 passengers over the last 12 months.

Right from the start of the project, it was important to create a place that worked for local people, as much as it did for visitors from further afield. Around 20% of our visitors live locally, with many using the town centre daily.

Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) is an accredited London Living Wage employer and 3,500 new jobs have been created on site. Many local people have been recruited through the Battersea Academy of Skills & Employment, a skills and training academy set up by shareholders to get local people into jobs that have been created.

Battersea has always been proud to be part of the Wandsworth community. Over 10 years, it has supported community organisations through funding, volunteering and gifts in kind. This continues and over the last year commercial partners have been introduced to the local community so that they can support local too. The aim is to create a constant stream of positive energy out into the community from across the new town centre.

Battersea’s ‘Always On’ annual events programme keeps visitors coming back too, with highlights including the Light Festival and the Battersea Games.

Looking ahead, the ‘Behind the Bricks Festival’ between 21 and 29 October will celebrate one year since opening the Power Station, and Glide at Battersea Power Station, London’s only riverside ice rink, will be returning this festive season.

Already so much has been learned about large-scale London regeneration and placemaking – the importance of mixed-use, public/private sector collaboration, reuse of a world-famous building and working with the local community and the best possible partners.

On Friday, though, the focus will be on celebrations with the 11 million-plus visitors and all the partners who have made the first year since reopening such a success

Simon Murphy is chief executive of BPSDC