BritbanglaDesk: Bouygues UK Limited, one of the country’s leading construction companies, has been appointed to work on a new civic centre in Whitechapel for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

The company has a strong track record in property development in all market sectors in the UK, with a focus on mixed-use developments, and urban regeneration delivering innovative schemes that breathe new life into urban spaces.

The project will see the construction of a new town hall on the site of the former Royal London Hospital building on Whitechapel Road, which was bought by the council after being vacated by Barts Health NHS Trust in 2012.

The new town hall – which will be part refurbishment of the existing Grade II listed building and part new build – will provide 26,700m2 of civic office space including an open-plan office space on the upper floors.

The entire ground floor will be dedicated to public use and will offer an open accessible local presence atmosphere which brings people together and enables them to access council services in one place. The ground floor local presence will host meeting and shared spaces, a café and the council chamber.

Construction is due to begin later this year with a completion date of autumn 2021.

Bouygues UK will be working closely with the council throughout the pre-construction stage of the project to fully plan, price and programme the refurbishment and construction works required to create the new building. Bouygues UK is the preferred contractor for the construction of the building although this will be confirmed on completion of the pre-construction work.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:

“We’re pleased to have appointed Bouygues UK to work with us to deliver a new town hall for the borough’s residents. We look forward to working in partnership with the company to develop our plans.”

Fabienne Viala, Chairman of Bouygues UK, said:

“We have an excellent relationship with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, having built a number of schools across the area. It is great to be continuing that relationship by creating a new town hall that will provide a high-quality working environment for council staff and improved facilities for the local community.”

Opening in 2022, this will be part of the borough’s on going work to deliver the Whitechapel Vision Masterplan – one of London’s largest regeneration programmes which includes the opening of Crossrail at Whitechapel Station in 2018. The town hall will be located in the most accessible part of Tower Hamlets, alongside a new life sciences campus being created by the Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London as well as seven new public spaces and an estimated 5,000 jobs.

The new town hall will offer a raft of benefits to the community. These include:

Economic benefits:

  • Through consolidation and redevelopment of existing council buildings, the town hall will create around 700 new homes across the borough, at least 35 per cent of which will be affordable (246)
  • The three-year development will generate an estimated 400 construction jobs per year. Our target is for 20 per cent of them, including a number of apprenticeships, to be taken by Tower Hamlets residents
  • We also want 20 per cent of construction supply chain contracts to be with Tower Hamlets companies
  • Once completed, we estimate the annual spend of the council and its staff with local shops and services to be around £4.1m

Protecting heritage

  • We will be retaining the significant fabric, finishes and decorations where possible of the much loved existing Grade II listed, former Royal London Hospital building blending the part new build elements into the whole.
  • We will use materials and techniques compatible with the building’s historic construction and to a high conservation design standard

Environmental benefits:

  • A biodiversity strategy to protect certain species of birds and invertebrates
  • An excellent BREEAM rating for a sustainable building
  • Water-efficient WCs, taps and showers and a low-water irrigation strategy
  • Recycling facilities during the construction to reduce waste to landfill
  • Cycle parking provision for both staff and visitors at the town hall accessed directly from the Cycle Superway
  • Responsibly sourced building materials
  • Energy efficient design to reduce our carbon footprint including renewable energy such as air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels


  • Theestimated total cost of the new Town Hall is £105m.
  • We estimate to recoup £78m from the sale of old council buildings that will no longer be needed once staff have moved. These sites will no longer be needed for council offices and could be used to provide much needed new housing.
  • The council will be saving public money compared to current arrangements as it will no longer be paying the £5m a year it spends to rent its current accommodation at Mulberry Place and the new Town Hall will remain an asset for the borough

About Bouygues UK

  • Bouygues UK is one of the country’s leading construction companies.
  • It focuses on sectors where it can add value through the technical expertise, skills and experience of Bouygues UK and the wider global Bouygues Group. These include residential (including social housing, the private rented sector, private for sale homes, mixed-use, care homes and student accommodation); and education (ranging from nursery schools through to higher education) as well as technically complex projects across sectors where the company’s expertise can be maximised.
  • Bouygues UK provides intelligent management throughout the entire life-cycle of each project, delivering efficiently and to an excellent standard.
  • Bouygues UK combines a local focus with international strength and expertise: the company is wholly owned by Bouygues Bâtiment International, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, a global player in construction and services.
  • In 2015, Bouygues Construction and its 50,000 employees generated sales of €12 billion.