Canary Wharf Group Plans to Slash Up to 100 Construction Jobs

Canary Wharf Group, the east London financial district’s main landlord, has notified staff it plans to cut as many as 100 construction jobs.

Canary Wharf Contractors staff were emailed this week warning that some roles would be eliminated as several major developments near completion, people with knowledge of the plan said, asking not to be identified because the matter was private. The cuts are not related to the coronavirus outbreak, they added.

A spokeswoman for Canary Wharf Group, which is owned by Qatar and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., declined to comment.

Developers are weighing committing to future projects in the face of widespread economic turmoil unleashed by the pandemic. While supply in London’s office market remains tight and the outlook for new homes following the the U.K.’s December election was increasingly positive, the prospect of a deep recession caused by the virus lockdown is giving investors pause.

Canary Wharf Contractors employed an average of 419 people in the year through December 2018, the company’s most recent accounts show. The proposed round of layoffs will begin in September, the people said.

The company has recently completed or is in the final stages of construction on several apartment buildings at Wood Wharf, a major extension of the Canary Wharf estate. It has yet to commit to a start date for the next phase of construction on the 5 million square feet (about 465,000 square meters) project of homes, offices and stores, the people said.

The firm is also close to completing work on several buildings at the Shell Centre development on London’s Southbank and has yet to fix a date for work on the final phase of the project, the people added.

In total, the company is currently working on about 2 million square feet of construction projects, with a further 2.5 million square feet in design. It’s also preparing plans for another major mixed-use development on a site to the north of the Canary Wharf estate.

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