The old Battersea power station, now in the process of redevelopment after decades of controversy, will turn into an open-air cinema during the summer and will screen the World Cup final on 13 July. The Power of Summer programme from 10 July-31 August will also include what is called “street food” and is being sponsored by Heineken. The conversion of the power station is now well advanced and has become one of the most sought-after places in London for apartment hunters. When the first sales opened at the beginning of May a two-bedroom apartment was priced at over £1 million and by the end of the first week over 95 per cent of the units had been reserved.
The Malaysian consortium of developers, S.P Setia Berhad, Sime Darby and Employees Provident Fund, that took over after the dismal failure of the Irish real estate company to reconstruct the site, has said that accommodation there will be reserved for UK residents in order to meet criticism that the price bubble in London housing is being stoked by foreign buyers.
The rest of the power station site, which is between Battersea Park and the railway line between London to Gatwick airport, is reserved for offices, shops and restaurants.
The summer also sees the beginning of the reconstruction of the first of the four chimneys, which should be finished two years later. As restoration of the old chimneys would have only been a short-term solution because of the advanced state of corrosion to the existing steel supports each one will now be dismantled and then rebuilt in exactly the same design and colour but with new modern steel techniques. It will take about six months to demolish and then rebuild each 101-metre chimney.
The old power station on the south of the Thames was decommissioned in the 1980s and the site then changed hands several times before being bought by the Malaysian consortium in 2012.