The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has approved proposals to convert the wartime Kingsway Exchange tunnels into a cultural and visitor attraction.  

The project team comprises architect WilkinsonEyre, project manager Gardiner & Theobald, and engineering services provided by WSP. 

Last year, WilkinsonEyre revealed its plans to open the 8,000m² tunnels under High Holborn to the British public.  

The proposal was lodged following a series of consultation events with the local community in October 2023. 

The redevelopment spans the boundary with the London Borough of Camden, necessitating additional approval from the local authority. 

The approved proposals include the merger of buildings at 38-41 Furnival Street into a single structure. 

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This entails the ground floor serving as the main entrance to a ‘Heritage Experience’ and a temporary cultural space.  

The plans also feature ancillary retail space, including a gift shop across the first and second floors, and office accommodation on the fourth floor for staff use.  

Public realm enhancements such as a shared surface and widened pavement at the principal entrance on Furnival Street, are also proposed. 

An underground bar is also a part of the redevelopment, situated on the Camden side of the site.  

City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation Committee chair Shravan Joshi said: “At the City of London, we are delivering a thriving, sustainable Square Mile, through a combination of business growth and celebration of our local heritage. The new and exciting heritage, arts and culture activity that this scheme has the potential to deliver, will enliven the local streets and venues. 

“As we work to transform the Square Mile into a seven-day-a-week destination, developments like the one proposed for the Kingsway Tunnel site will become global attractions for a variety of visitors, which are projected to rise substantially.”