Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG) has announced that it has helped to generate over £1 billion worth of business for local companies since 1997.

Over 1,700 local companies have benefited from this milestone figure, delivered through Canary Wharf Group’s business support initiatives and joint ventures.

While much of this business relates to the Group’s developments at Canary Wharf, the economic impact of its activity is widening as it continues to expand its footprint in the City and on the South Bank.

The Canary Wharf Estate is located on the site of the former West India Docks.  The closing of the docks resulted in a period of high unemployment and economic inactivity in the area. Canary Wharf Group has always sought to invest in the local community and its initial phase of construction secured over £48 million of business for local companies.

In 1997, during the second phase of development at Canary Wharf, the Group set up a Local Business Liaison Office for small and medium enterprises, helping them bid for contracts both on the Estate and in the surrounding area.  In the 11 years between 1997 and 2008 the Local Business Liaison Office helped local companies secure over £615 million of business.

Following the success of this project, Canary Wharf Group extended this service across ten East London boroughs at the request of the London Development Agency, establishing a joint venture called the East London Business Place (ELBP) with ten London Thames Gateway boroughs and the East London Business Alliance.  Over the last six years, led by Canary Wharf Group, ELBP has built up a strong reputation in establishing contracts with SME suppliers in East London, helping them to procure over £160 million of business since 2008 through various projects including:

  • Bishops Square Procurement Support Programme for Tower Hamlets Council
  • Access to Finance for Business Growth with Tower Hamlets College of Further Education
  • East London Supply Chain Network within the Institute for Sustainability’s FLASH programme.

East London Business Place provided the model for its sister project, the CWG/Qatari Diar South London Procurement Network and, in partnership with Newham College of Further Education, is delivering the Fit for Legacy programme which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.  More recently, it has secured funding to deliver the third phase of the City of London’s Ready to Supply the City programme.

Gay Harrington, CWG Social & Economic Development Manager and Director of ELBP says: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone, which highlights just how important our support is to the local business community and the economy. We value the partnerships we have formed to ensure that our business support activities help more local companies to become fit to supply, increase their confidence, competence and success rate.  This will create a legacy of a more competitive and sustainable business community and ultimately, a thriving economic platform for local people to secure jobs”.

These support initiatives and joint ventures have helped the Group reach the £1 billion local business milestone.

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