Imperial College Buys Former Dairy Crest Site

Expanding its Imperial West campus on both sides of A40

Imperial College is expanding its new White City campus, Imperial West, by buying the former Dairy Crest site from insurer Aviva and development partner Helical Bar.

The site, to the south of the A40, had been named Brickfields and received outline planning permission last year for 11 new buildings offering up to 1,150 new homes built around two new public squares, plus a range of other public facilities.

However the plans, which included a 32 storey tower, were condemned by local people who were already fighting Imperial College's plans for an even higher 35 storey tower at its campus to the north of the A40.

The residents, led by St Helens Residents Association, claimed that the twin towers would destroy skylines across West London. You can read the full story here.

The College will now complete the purchase of 11.5 acres from Aviva in August 2013, but it is not yet known if it will follow the existing plans for the site.

Combined with the land which Imperial bought from the BBC since 2009, the College’s total landholding for its new campus will increase to 22.75 acres. As you can see from the plan shown here, the plots form one contiguous site on either side of the A40.  

Imperial College says the investment in additional land will allow it to increase its capacity for delivering its vision for research and translation activities at Imperial West.

At a launch event in March this year attended by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London,the college invited proposals from potential global partners in business, industry and academia to co-locate on the campus.

Sir Keith O’Nions, President & Rector of Imperial College London, says: " We have presented a bold vision for Imperial West and the new land will allow us to undertake research, translation and commercialisation with partner organisations on an unprecedented scale for London and the UK.

" We are interested in attracting academic and business partners to work alongside Imperial at the new campus."

The first buildings at Imperial West, providing accommodation for 606 postgraduate students and early-career researchers, are already in use.

Design work is underway for the £150 million Research and Translation Hub which will provide facilities for 1,000 scientists and engineers and space that could accommodate 50 or more spin out companies.

Construction of the Hub, which is funded by investor Voreda and a £35 million award from HEFCE, in addition to the College’s investment, is on course for completion in 2015.

The site, to the east of Wood Lane, is close to another ten acre site, currently used by Marks and Spencer as a storage warehouse and "mock shop" for training purposes, which has just been bought by developer St James, which plans to build up to 4,500 new homes and new public parkland.

It is also at the centre of the White City Opportunity Area, with other developments in the pipeline including new owner Stanhope's transformation of the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane and Westfield's plans to expand on land to the north of the current shopping centre.


July 2, 2013





has launched its vision for Imperial West, its new campus on Wood Lane.

Leaders from business, research and government joined Imperial College London staff on March 6 for the launch of its vision for a new seven acre campus in White City, west London, which will become London's first major research and translation quarter. 

Imperial's President & Rector Sir Keith O'Nions showcased the centrepiece of the new campus, a £150 million Research and Translation Hub, and laid out the College's vision for a £1 billion innovation eco-system where 3,000 researchers will work to solve the scientific challenges of the future. 

Guests were shown a film called Imperial West - Launching the Vision and an exhibition showcasing construction plans for the campus and local community, alongside displays highlighting some of Imperial's most exciting research, innovation and spin-out companies. 

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and David Willetts Minister for Universities and Science were especially taken by the chance to don Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks developed by Imperial physicists working with metamaterials. The Mayor and Minister were astonished to find their bodies become almost completely see-through on screen. 

Other Imperial research and translation activities on display included ultra-efficient rechargeable batteries from Nexeon, microchips incorporated with DNA analysis from DNA Electronics, synthetic biosensors, new appetite regulation technology, and realistic simulations of hip replacement surgery. 

The project was hailed by Boris Johnson who spoke at the launch, held on the College's South Kensington Campus. 

He said: " London is emerging as the innovation and scientific capital of the world. And our ambition – my ambition as Mayor – is to keep driving that process on and to accelerate it.

“Here at Imperial you’ve got the right answer, which is to capture the flash of inspiration, harness the bang and convert it into wallop for the London and the UK economy – and that is what you’re doing at Imperial West."

“You’ll be following in the footsteps of all the innovators at Imperial that have made it the greatest scientific institution in the world.”

Councillor Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council said: "White City is a brilliant part of London and one of the best connected. It's absolutely fantastic that Imperial has decided to expand here. Imperial West is an exciting venture and will bring around three thousand jobs to the borough. We're already home to some world leading enterprises and businesses and Imperial's increased presence will be a great boost for our vibrant community."

Imperial West also includes accommodation for 606 post graduate students at Wood Lane Studios, shops, a four star hotel, a new public square and Brickfields Hall, at the corner of Shinfield Street and Eynham Road, a community hall opened in autumn, which is available for local residents to book for social events.

Imperial West was given the go ahead by Boris Johnson in October last year, despite local opposition to the inclusion of a 35 storey tower on the site - a plan dubbed Imperial Folly by local campaigners. You can read this story here.





London has submitted a planning application  for a new campus, plus offices, homes and shops, a new four star hotel and a public square on on the former BBC site on Wood Lane, currently known as Imperial West.

If the proposals get the go ahead from Hammersmith and Fulham Council, they will complete Imperial's regeneration of the site, where phase one, Wood Lane Studios, is already well underway. This phase will provide 606 postgraduate studios and nine homes for key workers.

The development of this new open access campus will form a major element of the wider regeneration of the White City Opportunity Area, which is being promoted by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Greater London Authority.

Following consultation with the council and local residents, the Masterplan proposals, designed by architects Aukett Fitzroy Robinson and PLP Architecture, comprise:

· World class facilities for health and biomedical research which will bring together academics from across the College to provide a centre of excellence to attract and retain the very best scientists

· New Business Accelerator – delivering research and office launch pad space for new technology start-up businesses developed by the College’s technology transfer company, Imperial Innovations plc

· Grade A office space – for College technology partner organisations, creating an environment where commerce and entrepreneurs can develop together in a world-leading academic research environment

· Postgraduate facilities- delivering research and teaching space for Imperial’s Graduate School to expand and consolidate in West London

· New homes - 1, 2, and 3 bedroom private, NHS and College key worker homes

· Publicly accessible square – an extensively landscaped, open green space at the heart of the development, forming a new London square the size of Soho Square, opening up a site which has been closed to the public for many decades

· Pedestrian and cycle access - new safe routes throughout the site, opening up and linking to the wider Opportunity Area

· Four-star hotel – including conference and leisure facilities, health/fitness, restaurant and coffee shop

· New local convenience services – including retail, pharmacy, healthcare services, early years’ education nursery.

John Anderson, Project Director for Imperial West, says: " Imperial West will enable the College to expand upon the success of its South Kensington site to create a second, open access academic campus that provides the physical infrastructure for world-class research and teaching, leading-edge facilities for business development and technology transfer, and create an attractive environment to live and work in.

" Imperial West will provide real and lasting benefits for the capital, helping to grow the London economy, and has the capacity to generate and sustain over 3,000 jobs."

In the meantime, Wood Lane Studios are set to be completed by August this year so that accommodation will be available to postgraduate students in time for the start of the academic year. For more details, visit Wood Lane Studios.