Thurrock’s £6 billion investment plans

THURROCK Council Leader Cllr John Kent has welcomed the news that the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has submitted its plans for £1.2 billion government funding by 2021.

Speaking on Monday (23 December), Cllr Kent said: “The scale of Thurrock’s thinking and proposals is highlighted in this region-wide bid. A group of local authorities from Essex – including Thurrock and Southend – Kent (including Medway) and East Sussex are bidding for £1.2 billion to open up an estimated £10 billion investment.

“Thurrock alone is expecting its part of this plan to bring see around £6 billion – nearly two-thirds – of that £10 billion invested here in our borough.

“We are looking for around £357m of government funding – matched by around £386m from us and our partners to secure Thurrock’s £6 billion.”

He said: “It is a testament to Thurrock that our regional partners are supporting our ambitious plans and understand how, by investing in our borough’s future, they are improving their own plans for growth.”

He explained: “As outlined in this month’s cabinet report our local development framework will create 26,000 new jobs and 18,500 new homes in Thurrock.

“This will support everything from the further development of the creative industries at High House Production Park to the growth of green technology and energy at Thames Enterprise Park, and increase Thurrock’s existing Business Support programme.”

Cllr Kent said that Thurrock’s part of the bid includes developing a Skills Academy for Transport and Logistics – along the same lines as the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills at Purfleet – as well as building a post-16 network linked to innovative sectors locally and developing a package of targeted spending to get more local people into local employment.

In addition, the bid includes Thurrock’s list of necessary major transport improvements such as delivering the full solution for M25 Junction 30/31, widening the A13, and a series of measures to reduce the effect of level crossings in Thurrock.

He said: “It’s by no means all high level and nationally important schemes, although we will all benefit from those too. We’re looking at tackling local transport improvements around Lakeside, London Gateway, Grays and expanding our sustainable transport schemes like creating rapid bus routes and the cycling network.

“We’re seeking funding for upgrading the A1306, tackling Thurrock’s long-standing infrastructure deficits through the growth of our Thames-side Towns, kick-starting housing growth throughout the borough by using council assets or direct development; and offering support to private landowners to secure the delivery of much needed housing on the stalled housing sites around the borough.”

He said: “All in all, Thurrock has persuaded the Local Enterprise Partnership of the national importance of its future plans, now we and our partners across the South East need to keep up the pressure on central government too.”

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