- Unilever and Cube Real Estate break ground on the new Unilever Campus
- The ground breaking marks the start of works to deliver the new Unilever Global HQ to Kingston in early 2025
Unilever and Cube Real Estate marked the start of works on the new Unilever Campus in the heart of Kingston with a ceremonial ground breaking event. The event, attended by Sir Ed Davey MP and the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston Cllr Yogan Yoganathan, signals the next stage of works on the former hippodrome site. Over the summer, the existing disused buildings on the site were demolished, leaving only the current Unilever office which has been occupied by the FMCG manufacturer since 1973. Work will now begin to build Unilever’s new town centre campus, a state of the art, sustainable office, home to around 2,000 jobs.
The Unilever Campus, comprising two interlinking glass-fronted buildings and a car park with ample bike storage and electric vehicle charging, will be home to Unilever’s global and UK head offices. The Campus will be highly sustainable, targeting the most ambitious global accreditations for sustainability and employee health and wellbeing, and will be designed to reflect and support future ways of working, including hybrid working.
Kingston Council is committed to boosting economic growth and supporting local employment by attracting major employers like Unilever. This has become ever-more important in light of the challenging national economic climate. This is a fantastic scheme for our borough, it will bring huge opportunities for our economy and our residents with more than 2,000 jobs coming to the town centre. It’s great to see it continue to progress.Leader of Kingston Council, Cllr Andreas Kirsch
It is really exciting to see over two years’ hard work come to fruition today with the ground breaking. Ever since we first approached Unilever about this opportunity, we have been working to produce a plan that delivers for Kingston; I think that is what we have here in the new Unilever Campus. There is still a long way to go to get the campus built and operational, however, we have the right team in place and will work hard to bring the new Unilever HQ to Kingston as soon as possible.Jonathan Lawes, Director at Cube Real Estate
We have learnt in the past few years that there’s much more to an office than simply desks. A workplace has the power to shape a company’s culture, to attract and retain future fit talent, and to be an active part of the community. Our aspiration is to make the Campus a magnet where our people, suppliers and partners all want to come for this sense of community and collaboration as well as for the proximity to the town centre and all it has to offer. Breaking ground today with people and organisations who are a core part of the Kingston community is an exciting milestone, and takes us one step closer to creating a Campus of which Unilever employees and residents of the borough can be truly proud.Richard Sharp, Head of Unilever UK
Since planning for Eden Campus was approved by Kingston Planning Committee in March 2021, Cube has been working with Kingston Council to further improve the plans, for the benefit of the wider area. Along with previous commitments to bring 2,000 jobs to Kingston Town Centre, new landscaping and electric ready car parking, the new plans will go further. The new plans, approved in April of this year, will also:
- Reduce CO2 associated with the build – over 50% fewer lorry journeys and reducing embodied carbon in the office buildings
- Reduce the weight of the office buildings, minimising the energy requirements when the buildings are in operation, helping to achieve net zero
- Remove over 100,000ft3 of basement construction in the office buildings, reducing construction impact on the town centre
- Reduce heights on the office buildings.
The new campus is anticipated to be completed in Q1 of 2025 when Unilever will move from four offices in the South East, including the existing 3 St James’ Road office, into the new buildings.