When construction work on The Shard was completed and the building subsequently opened to the public way back in 2012, then-Mayor-of-London Boris Johnson hailed the development as “a huge commercial magnet, creating vital new jobs and bringing in scores of businesses”, however this influx of businesses appeared somewhat absent during the early days of the iconic skyscraper’s operation. This led to questions being raised about the viability of the project as vast areas of office space remained unoccupied for years, with critics citing the tower’s location on the south side of the river and outside of the Square Mile Boundary as a possible deterrent for companies looking for premises within the city.

These fears and criticisms can now be laid to rest however, as Warwick Business School have recently expanded to occupy the 13th floor in addition to their existing space on the 17th, meaning office space within the £500m tower is finally fully occupied.

Warwick Business School first moved into The Shard in September 2014, transforming 12,150sq ft of office space on the 17th floor into what they describe as a “campus in the sky”, complete with a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, seminar rooms and an information technology laboratory. The additional 6,342sq ft they have now let on the 13th floor will become home to a second brand new lecture theatre.

Dean Andy Lockett of Warwick Business School said of the recent expansion to the 13th floor, “We picked The Shard as our first London base because it’s a beacon for business and matched our aspirations for our highly ranked Executive MBA Programme, and our executive education more broadly.

“It has proved to be the perfect base - exceptional transport links make it easy to access and we have light, inspiring spaces that create the perfect learning environment. We are delighted we could expand within the building to accommodate even more students.”

A total of 31 businesses now occupy the 72 floors of the landmark skyscraper, with residents including the likes of retailer Matches Fashion, jeweller Tiffany & Co, parliamentary communications group DODS, and media firm Al Jazeera, among others.

Inside the office of DODS within The Shard, with views over the City of London   - Img: Woodalls Design
Alongside the aforementioned office space, The Shard also incorporates three restaurants, a hotel and a viewing gallery. Ten apartments occupy the upper floors of the tower, but these remain empty; in fact they have yet to be placed on the market for either rent or sale.

James Sellar, CEO of developer/co-owner Sellar, said of the tower, its legacy, and its slow pace of lettings, “Together with the State of Qatar, we have achieved what we set out to deliver; a vibrant and dynamic building that has been both a catalyst and a magnet for further investment in this part of Southwark.

“The Shard has become a global landmark that, against all odds, and is recognised as a blueprint for the creation of a European vertical city.

“We have concluded an offices lettings programme that has secured a unique blend of tenants and reflects our objective to produce a building, which mirrors the incredible diversity of British business life.”

Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, also commented, “The Shard has transformed London Bridge, brought new jobs and opportunities, and symbolises the ambition of Southwark where the sky really is the limit. 

“The new businesses in The Shard mean thousands of new jobs, not just in the building itself, but also supporting many other businesses nearby, from pubs and bars to Borough Market and small independent retailers.

“As one of London’s ‘must-visit’ venues, The Shard means more visitors than ever before are coming to Southwark and get to experience all that our borough has to offer in the very heart of the city.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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