Lidl opens £70m headquarters in Tolworth, five years after Kingston Council grants permission

German-owned discount supermarket chain Lidl has officially opened a new £70m head office at the former site of the Hook Venturer Sports Club in Tolworth.

The announcement on January 27 comes five years after it was given planning permission by Kingston Council and more than three years of developments.

The firm acquired the land in 2015 after it signed a £10m deal with Kingston Council to move its UK headquarters to Tolworth.

The head office has moved from Worple Road in Wimbledon to the corner of Kingston Road and Jubilee Way.

New Lidl Head Office, Tolworth
The location of the new Lidl Head Office. Photo: Corporate Lidl

Lidl said on LinkedIn: “One Team. One Vision. One Roof. Lidl House is now open! We’re having a great time welcoming our head office colleagues to their new home in Tolworth.

“Our colleagues are being introduced to their new offices, starting to make use of this fantastic building and collaborating under one roof again!”

The development had been unanimously agreed by Kingston Council’s development control committee on December 15, 2016, after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan approved it.

Former leader of Kingston Council Kevin Davis said that Lidl House in Tolworth was “one of the biggest investments of Lidl in London”.

“Having them headquartered in our borough will provide a huge boost to the local economy and employment market. It also sends out a clear message that the borough of Kingston is a good place to do business.”

Further expansion

In 2019, Lidl announced £500 million expansion plan for London, saying it would create around 1,500 new jobs for the capital. Lidl’s long-term target by 2025 is to have 1,100 stores across the country. It opened its 900th store last month in Liverpool.

Former LIDL GB CEO Christian Härtnagel said this 220,000 square foot office building, spanning five floors, would accommodate an 800-strong head office team and drive the support of Lidl’s network of 900 stores and 13 warehouses.

Incoming CEO of LIDL GB Ryan McDonnell said: “This space is designed to enhance collaboration, encouraging more flexible ways of working for all colleagues, with dedicated areas to suit their needs.”

Investment: It comes as the company announced plans for 250 more stores in London
Investment: It comes as the company announced plans for 250 more stores in London. Photo: Lidl

Lidl House is a short walk from Tolworth’s train station, offering collaborative break-out spaces for colleagues to interact and includes a canteen, a gym, barista bar and an atrium. It is surrounded by vast, protected green space.

Measures to lessen its impact on the environment, such as solar panels on Lidl’s House car park, automatic LED lighting, and toilets equipped with rainwater harvesting systems inside the building have also been put into place.

Lidl’s lead of branding and packaging Laura Ward said she was “blown away by how much work had gone into the building”.

“It will be a good few years before we outgrow this space, having seen our team outgrow not one, not two but three office spaces within Wimbledon,” she said.

Further plans in Tolworth

Staff at Lidl House will be working with local charity partners such as SHEDx to help to support the Tolworth community. This vision is part of Kingston Council and Network Rail’s £150,000 scheme to transform Tolworth Station into an accessible transport hub creating community-driven green initiatives in the surrounding area.

Paul Harwood, Network Rail Southern region’s director of investment, said the project was “a great example of public sector partnership working”.

“We hope it will pave the way for transformational changes at Tolworth station, benefitting passengers, residents and those using the station spaces,” he said.

Kingston’s Council chief executive Ian Thomas added: “A number of schemes already being delivered around the station, such as the Guinness Partnership housing redevelopment of 960 homes, Lidl HQ office development, the residential redevelopment of Tolworth Tower and SHEDx community projects will also be accelerated and enhanced.”

Construction of Lidl's new UK headquarters underway | M Moser | Workplace  design | Transform the way your company works
Construction of Lidl’s new UK headquarters. Photo: Mmoser.

Another construction plan in Tolworth is a 950-home development on the Tolworth Toby Jug site by the A3. Early work began in 2018 despite residents’ and councillors objections. Density and traffic congestion were their biggest concerns.

CNM Estates, a property investment and development company, has also launched plans to create a new multi-story building to revamp Tolworth Tower.

CNM Estates' plans include new multi-story buildings along the Broadway
Developer CNM Estates’ plans include new residential buildings along the Broadway. Photo: CNM
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