Big projects bring London alive

London has seen a surge in building work in the past six months despite the UK's slide back into recession, as developers look to cash in on a shortage of office space.

The go-ahead for major projects – including the investment bank UBS's vast new headquarters at Broadgate and the Fitzroy Place redevelopment of the former Middlesex Hospital site in central London – means there is now 9.2 million sq ft of offices under construction in the capital, according to the Crane Survey from the consultancy Drivers Jonas Deloitte.

Although still weak by historic standards, the upturn means that commercial office work has trebled since the market low in 2008. Major developers are pinning hopes on a surge in demand for space as leases signed in the late 1980s and early 1990s expire.

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