George Osborne celebrates the start of new City base for UBS at Broadgate

CHANCELLOR George Osborne yesterday broke new ground to mark the start of construction work on UBS’s new headquarters at 5 Broadgate.

The occasion marks the beginning of three years of building work overseen by site owners British Land and Blackstone, and the success of a campaign by City A.M. to allow the £850m development to go ahead.

“This new site, in the heart of the City, signals the confidence placed in London as the world’s leading financial centre,” said Osborne.

The 700,000 square foot, 12-storey building is due to complete in late 2014, and will house four open trading floors and custom-built office space for the Swiss bank.

UBS will rent the entire building on an 18-year lease, paying a headline rent of £54.50 per square foot.

Broadgate estate was designed by Peter Foggo in the mid-1980s, and was subject to an application for listed status by English Heritage last year.

City A.M. revealed that culture secretary Jeremy Hunt had decided to dismiss the application in June, after City executives and business leaders hit out at the message that blocking the development would send.