Essel Group Proposes Multi-billion Pound Indian Cultural Center in London

The proposed cultural center will include retail outlets, restaurants and a luxury hotel, besides museums, art galleries and interactive experiences about origins of the Indus Valley and other civilizations.


Mumbai-based Essel Group is planning a major investment in east London to create a world-class visitor attraction, hotel and leisure complex which would celebrate India’s culture and history, PTI reported.

Led by media baron Subhash Chandra, the group plans to revamp an entire 62-acre brownfield site in east London’s Royal Docks area, which is known as Silvertown Quays. The proposal for the purchase of the land from its current developers — Silvertown Partnership — has been submitted with the Greater London Authority (GLA). The silvertown partnership is a group that comprises Chelsfield Properties, First Base and Macquarie Capital.

“London remains the beating heart of Europe, and the Essel Group is committed to making a huge investment into London to complete the transformation of this part of the city, offering a sustainable and eco-friendly development that meets the requirements of the current planning permission and ensuring this project moves quickly,” Parul Goel, a spokesperson for the company, was quoted as saying by the news agency.

“With Brexit looming, this kind of investment into the UK represents a massive coup for the GLA and the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. The cultural center will be like no other in the world, and we aim to put this part of London back on the map,” Goel added.

The Essel Group and HPW Architects released futuristic computer-generated images this week, which show the multi-billion-pound cultural center as the heart of the Silvertown project.

According to the architects, the center will provide a “cultural landmark” for the city, which will “defy traditional tall build typologies” and transform the London skyline. It would include museums, theater, retail outlets, restaurants, botanical garden and a luxury hotel. It will also have museums, art galleries and interactive experiences for visitors that will talk of origins of the Indus Valley and other civilizations to the modern day world.

The project has potential to deliver 5,000 jobs in the east end of London, the statement said.

The center will also host meditation, yoga, dance, spa and wedding events. A conference center, exhibition facilities and a global news and world class TV production studio has also been proposed.

The purchase also includes a 20th century former flour mill — Millenium Mills. The redevelopment, which is expected to create over  3,000 homes, will transform the industry area in Newham between Canary wharf and London city.

The plan is a long-nursed ambition of the chairman to create an educational cultural destination that will showcase the impact and influence of ancient civilizations over 6,000 years, the statement added.

“Dr Chandra is recognized as an ambassador of Indian culture to the rest of the world. His vision is that the basic DNA of the center will be based the idea that the world is one family. People from different beliefs, religions, countries and regions will be able to use its free and fair environment to hold discussions and arrive at possible solutions to current conflicts,” Goel added.

If Essel Group’s plans are approved by GLA, the cultural center would be opened by 2023.

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