Multi-disciplinary team advises on partnership for Liberty of Southwark

3 minute read
06 May 2022

Our Real Estate, Corporate and Planning teams have advised public-private joint venture partners U+I and Transport for London (TfL) on its new funding partnership with Landsec that will bring forward mixed-use development, The Liberty of Southwark.

The Liberty will provide more than 160,000 sq ft of new office space, plus shops, restaurants, cafes, flexible small business workspace and new homes. It will bring more than 1,850 new jobs to the area and 36 residential units, including 12 for social rent and a further four for discounted sale.

Landsec, which acquired U+I in December 2021, has paid £54.7 million for the land, giving it 100% ownership of The Liberty. The intention is for the scheme to move into Landsec's Central London Office Portfolio and augment its existing Southwark pipeline including The Forge, Red Lion Court and Timber Square.

The funding deal means work to enhance Crossbones Graveyard and Memorial Garden, a unique post-medieval burial ground adjoining the site, can now progress forward, consistent with the partners' commitment to safeguarding its future. The local community will also benefit from a range of other public realm improvements, such as new cycle parking and pedestrian routes throughout the development.

The Liberty of Southwark is expected to complete in 2024.

Gowling WLG advised U+I and TfL on all aspects of the funding partnership and the legal team was led by partner Nick Mumby, with support from partner Vicky Fowler, principal associate Chris Letters, senior associate Zoe Johnston and associate Zoya Khan.

Nick Mumby, partner at Gowling WLG, said: "The Liberty of Southwark development will deliver a lively hub of living and work space to the area. Mixed-use sites such as these are becoming an important part of our community infrastructure by creating much needed homes and jobs. We're pleased to see this result for our clients and look forward to watching the site progress."

Mike Hood, managing director of U+I said on behalf of the JV: "In partnership with TfL, we have developed a vision for The Liberty of Southwark that will transform an under-utilised space to into an imaginative, thriving mixed-use place that will benefit all the people who will live in, work in and visit it. This deal with Landsec is a crucial step forward in realising the potential for this scheme – and we'd like to thank Gowling WLG for helping this come to fruition".

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