£400m Woolwich Exchange plans submitted to Greenwich Council


Grade II-listed market building reimagined for community use as a cinema, restaurants and bars

Proposals to transform the Grade II-listed Former Covered Market and surrounding land in Woolwich, SE18, into a sustainable new neighbourhood with an estimated GDV of £400 million have been submitted to the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

Preserving Woolwich’s heritage

The proposals for Woolwich Exchange retain the historic Former Covered Market building on Plumstead Road.  The building will become home to a new five-screen Picturehouse cinema, cafés, bars and restaurants allowing visitors to experience the expansive Lamella roof structure which was the main focus of the decision to list the building in 2018. 

Picturehouse, which has confirmed its commitment to the scheme despite the current challenges facing the cinema industry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, will open Woolwich’s first cinema in a generation following the closure of the Coronet in 1999.

The Former Covered Market is currently closed to the public. The proposals reimagine the space and open it up for the whole community to enjoy.

Extensive consultation with the Woolwich community has helped shape the plans and shown very high levels of support for the regeneration. The community requested historic elements of existing buildings were incorporated into the design, to help tie the new development’s identity to Woolwich’s heritage. As a result, several of the historic buildings on Woolwich New Road will be preserved and enhanced as part of the final plans.

A sustainable development, built for the future

Woolwich Exchange includes 801 homes, designed for flexible living, with space to live and work at home.  158 of the homes will be offered as affordable tenures and include a large number of much needed family-sized properties. The scheme will also provide a nursery, children’s play space, a gym and workspace. 

The Energy Strategy across the whole development will see savings in CO2 emissions of over 50% compared to the requirements defined by building regulations.  

The proposals feature new green, public spaces at the heart of the site, with extensive planting, benches and alfresco tables for cafés, bars and restaurants, offering a new, outdoor environment in the middle of Woolwich town centre, as well as promoting urban biodiversity.

A well-connected site on the Elizabeth Line

Woolwich Exchange is in TfL’s Zone 4 and sits between Berkeley’s Royal Arsenal Riverside development which includes the Elizabeth Line’s Woolwich Station (Crossrail), and the Woolwich Arsenal DLR and National Rail stations.  With numerous bus routes passing along the edge of the site, Woolwich Exchange is superbly located to attract new residents and visitors from all over London.

New pedestrian and cycle routes across the car-free development will create pleasant connections to different parts of the town centre.

Creating jobs and boosting the local economy

The regeneration will trigger a major boost to Woolwich’s daytime and evening economy, generating over 600 temporary jobs during the construction phase and nearly 200 permanent jobs in the retail, leisure and employment spaces that will be created. Plans for the site represent a major investment and commitment in the future of Woolwich, with the development estimated to add £60 million per year to the local economy during construction, and £10 million a year once complete.

The plans have been developed by a joint venture partnership between developer St. Modwen and housing association Notting Hill Genesis, which was appointed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to deliver the scheme. 

Although we’ve been working on these plans over a number of years, the changes in the way people work and spend their leisure time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have confirmed our desire to create a neighbourhood that offers it all: space to live, work, socialise and enjoy – both indoors and outdoors. Woolwich Exchange will be a place for everyone, existing residents as well as newcomers, which is why we have designed our proposals to encourage visitors and passers-by into the area.

Our plans will create new connections, boost the local economy and generate new jobs, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the local community to deliver them.”

Gary Morris, Senior Development Manager at St. Modwen

From the outset, we’ve been focused on delivering high quality and energy efficient affordable homes and facilities for the community at Woolwich Exchange.  It has been great to see the positive feedback we’ve received from the community and see this shape the final plans.

We believe we’ve retained and reflected the unique identity of Woolwich in this new scheme, while creating a well-designed, sustainable development that offers something for everyone.”

John Hughes, Group Director of Development at Notting Hill Genesis

Designed by award-winning architects Panter Hudspith and Glenn Howells, with landscape design delivered by HTA, construction could begin in 2023 if the plans are approved by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the GLA next year.

For more information or to sign up for updates, visit

The development team can be contacted on 020 7323 3544 or


Latest Issue

BDC 309 : Oct 2023