Why the Royal Docks?

Why the Royal Docks?

At over 1,200 acres of land, with 250 acres of water and nearly 12 miles of waterfront, the area is the most important and most exciting regeneration project in London. Uniquely, it is also the meeting point of two growth corridors, an Opportunity Area, and London’s only Enterprise Zone, making it poised for rapid growth.

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The space to succeed and grow

Giants of industry have formed and flourished in the Royal Docks, including ExCeL, Siemens, and perhaps most famously, iconic sugar brand and cultural patrons Tate & Lyle. But they are also being joined by startups and SMEs pioneering the fields of fashion, set design and art – to list but three examples.

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36,000 new homes
and 55,000 new jobs
within the next 20 years

A flourishing and diverse commercial district

The future Royal Docks will include studios, makers’ yards, co-working spaces, and potentially even a cutting-edge shipyard for the Thames – a sensitive blend that makes it one of the most productive and creative ecosystems for new and growing businesses in the region. There are also plans for a brand new cultural venue for London.

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A productive and creative work ecosystem

Enterprise Zones are engines of the UK economy, providing tax breaks and business incentives. Our zone includes three developments, creating seven million sq ft of commercial space, 41,5000 new jobs and 30,000 homes.

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A £314 million investment package was approved by the Mayor of London in 2018 to help accelerate regeneration

London’s only Enterprise Zone

450 acres at the centre of the Royal Docks is under public sector ownership — and the Royal Docks team is a joint initiative from the Mayor of London and Mayor of Newham working collaboratively with key stakeholders and local communities to ensure the area’s successful transformation.

This offers a rare opportunity to ensure that regeneration delivers genuine benefits to the local area. Over the whole of the Royal Docks, this includes thousands of new and affordable homes, new jobs, new workspaces for SMEs and growing businesses, schools, surgeries, parks, leisure facilities, cultural programming and community initiatives.

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A regeneration exemplar

The Royal Docks is making waves globally. ExCeL represents London's showcase as one of the world's most important exhibition and conference centres. And £500m is also being invested in London City Airport, as it expands its links with and routes to the Middle East and northeast USA.

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Our role as a global gateway grows

The Elizabeth Line is now open at Custom House, strengthening our direct links across the city. The launch adds to decades of investment that have seen the arrival of the Jubilee Line, IFS Cable Car, and the DLR, which will also be receiving 43 new trains. The new £1bn Silvertown Tunnel will open in 2025.

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Major transport interchange and investments

minutes from Custom House
Royal Docks on the
Elizabeth Line

Once the largest enclosed docks in the world, our 250 acres of water remain the area’s most enduring asset and one that is set to be transformed. With radical improvements, we aim to bring London back to its water, adding to the Royal Docks' famous watersports and wild swimming offer.

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A world-leading waterfront for work and play

Built at an unprecedented scale in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Royal Docks includes a range of listed historical buildings, from the preserved dockworkers' canteen to the iconic Millennium Mills. This derelict flour mill is currently undergoing major renovation as part of the £3.5bn redevelopment of Silvertown and looks set to stage London’s creative future.

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Our unique industrial London landscape

Newham’s population is one of the area’s greatest assets. The Royal Docks team is working closely with Newham Council to ensure that regeneration improves education, employment and business opportunity for existing residents.

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The young, dynamic, and diverse borough

The team

The Royal Docks is London’s most important and ambitious regeneration project and the team — established in 2017 — is working collaboratively with key stakeholders and local communities in the Royal Docks to ensure the area’s successful transformation.

In June 2018, a £314 million investment programme for the Royal Docks was given the green light. The planned investment will revive the Royal Docks into a world-leading business and visitor destination – generating thousands of new homes, workspaces and highly-skilled jobs over the next five years.

The developments

This map shows the Royal Docks area. The River Thames dominates the map, moving from west to east as it drains towards the ocean, and defining the southern boundary of the Royal Docks area. Moving from across the map from west to east, the route of the Thames starts halfway up the map. Here there is a peninsula that protrudes northward. This peninsula is labelled Greenwich Peninsula. After the river has rounded the peninsula, it curves in a south-easterly direction, then heads more or less due east, and then finally curves in a north-easterly direction in the eastern-most portion of the map. The Royal Docks area lies to the north of this curve of the river. Within the Royal Docks area, there are three docks, which are open water spaces connected to the river at the easternmost end. There is one dock in the western half of the Royal Docks area, and two docks in the eastern half. A boundary line marks the Royal Docks Opportunity Area. The southern edge of the Opportunity Area boundary runs along the north bank of the river. The western edge of the Opportunity Area is at a similar longitude to the Greenwich Peninsula, and follows the route of the River Lea. The River Lea is a tributary feeding the Thames, and it lies just to the east of the Greenwich Peninsula, as well as opposite it in a northerly direction. This Opportunity Area includes locations labelled Limmo and Silvertown Way, and excludes locations labelled City Island and Trinity Buoy Wharf. The northern edge of the Opportunity Area boundary follows the route of Newham Way, a main road that heads in a north-easterly direction from near the top of the map, and in the eastern half of the map disappears off the edge. Overall, the Opportunity Area is an area that encompasses both the Royal Docks, which lies in the curve of the river, and the area to the north of it that is larger. A shaded area on the map highlights the Enterprise Zone. The Enterprise Zone occupies a much smaller area than the the Opportunity area and lies entirely inside it. It is centred around the western dock, and to the north and east of the most northerly eastern dock. In the western section, a marker shows Silvertown Quays on the south bank of the dock. In the eastern section, markers show Royal Albert Docks on the northern side and Albert Island on the eastern side. Other areas that are marked on the map inside the Enterprise Zone are Newham Dockside and Royal Albert Basin (although this latter one appears to lie just on the border). Other areas that are marked on the map inside the Opportunity Area but not the Enterprise Zone are Thames Wharf, West Silvertown, Custom House, East Beckton, University of East London, London City Airport, North Woolwich, Pontoon Dock and Royal Wharf. Canning Town is marked on the map outside of the Opportunity Area.
Royal Docks wide area map preview image

Enterprise Zone & Opportunity Area

In the Enterprise Zone

Royal Albert Dock

Royal Albert Dock

Royal Albert Dock is one of London’s most significant regeneration opportunities, offering up to 400,000 sqm of new development potential across a 30 acre site. This unique Site is distinguished not only by its scale, but also the opportunity to curate a vibrant new mixed-use neighbourhood at the heart of London’s move Eastwards.



One of the most distinctive and historic parts of the Royal Docks, Silvertown is on the cusp of revival as a new waterside location for London. The Silvertown regeneration project, led by Lendlease and Starwood Capital, will provide a significant number of offices and workspaces, with c 6,500 homes, a significant proportion being affordable. This 50-acre site around Pontoon Dock is home to the historic Millennium Mills, an iconic 20th century flour mill, and the distinctive Grade II-listed Silo D, both of which will be restored as part of the development. These buildings have featured in many films, television shows and music videos. We are bringing new life to this impressive place by creating a high-quality, mixed-use destination across six distinctive areas. Silvertown will have a total of 7 million sq ft of residential and commercial space, public parks and improved access to the water including the new Silvertown Bridge.

Albert Island

Albert Island

Albert Island takes the Royal Docks’ maritime heritage into the future with mixed- use industrial, commercial boatyard and marina – this will be the first new shipyard on the Thames for over a century. Life on the water will be central to this new development, built with sustainability at its core.

In and around the Royal Docks
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First waterfront apartments complete at Riverscape

Apartments at highly anticipated waterfront development Riverscape are now available to move into

A ground-breaking moment for Silvertown, as building begins!

The Royal Docks marked a significant milestone last week, with building works beginning on the first affordable homes at Silvertown - a historic 60-acre site at the heart of the Royal Docks.

New pedestrian bridge adds twist to Royal Docks

Plans have been approved for an elegant new pedestrian and cycle bridge, that will revolutionise access across the docks, connecting Silvertown on the south side.

How to get involved