London Mayor Sadiq Khan hails Telefonica and Ferrovial London developments

Rebecca Smith
Khan said:
Khan said: "Business leaders in Europe realise that London will remain a key partner in business" (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed the announcement that both telecoms company Telefonica, which owns O2, and infrastructure giant Ferrovial have unveiled plans for London developments.

The mayor said it proved the capital's lasting appeal a day after Theresa May triggered Article 50 to start the process of withdrawing Britain from the European Union.

Telefonica's startup accelerator Wayra is developing a new facility in Haringey, North London, to encourage entrepreneurs in outer London pursue their startup ideas. The hub will support around 10 digital new businesses per year outside of the traditional tech centres of central London.

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Meanwhile, Ferrovial is launching the Londoners' Lab, a programme to improve day-to-day recycling in flats and multiple occupancy houses.

Khan said the further expansion by the Spanish companies was proof that "despite Brexit, business leaders in Europe realise that London will remain a key partner in business, investment, talent, ideas and friendship".

The mayor has been touring European capitals this week and meeting European leaders to push the capital's case as an ongoing place to be for business.

Santiago Olivares, chief executive of Ferrovial Services, said: “London is definitely a global reference in urban innovation, a forward-thinking city which is making great progress on key issues such as data-driven management, citizen engagement and circular economy.”

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​The announcements come on the day the deputy mayor of London for business, Rajesh Agrawal, revealed findings from a survey by London & Partners showing that 60 per cent of EU business leaders want continued or closer ties with London's business community after Brexit.

The majority said the UK's decision to leave the EU will leave the capital's position as a global business centre and tech hub unchanged, or improve it.

Agrawal is visiting Madrid with 21 fast-growing businesses from London to discuss how to develop smart cities.

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