ROBERT Goodwill MP praises Tilbury’s investment in enhancing its connectivity to the Capital and South East, creating nearly 1,000 new jobs in 12 months
The Port of Tilbury, London’s major port, welcomed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill MP, to tour the port this week to see the impacts of the significant investment programme, including the extensions to the port estate to accommodate projected business growth.
The Minister arrived by boat from central London to allow him to see the port’s London connection and was briefed en route about Tilbury’s role in supporting nationally significant projects, from Crossrail to Tideway. Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, joined her Westminster colleague on the visit.
The port, which has doubled in volume size in the past ten years, plays a major role as an economic driver for the local area and for London as a whole. This week the port handled its one millionth freight unit with P&O Ferries who operate a successful route at Tilbury to Zeebrugge due the port’s connectivity to the Capital. P&O have enjoyed an increase in volumes of almost 300% since the route was launched eight years ago.
The party were taken on a tour of operations to see for themselves the outcome of the investment across the port including London Container Terminal, one of the UK’s largest container terminals, which together with the rest of the port, handles over half a million containers each year. The Minister was also briefed on the progress of the new chilled food facility which is under construction at the London Container Terminal. The store, operated in partnership with NFT, will be the largest port-based chill store in Europe, employing nearly 700 people, and is due to open in early 2016.
The party were also updated on The London Construction Link alliance between S Walsh and the port, which offers construction solutions using water transportation for sites near or beside the Thames to relieve truck congestion on the Capital’s roads; as well as the Cory Environmental operation that moves and processes the Capital’s waste, with the final phase of the operation at Tilbury.
The party visited the new 70-acre distribution park on the outskirts of the port called the London Distribution Park. The park, which already has Travis Perkins operating from the site, is the largest speculative development on the market near London and is expected to bring over 1,100 new jobs to the Thames Gateway regeneration area.
Commenting on the visit Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive, Forth Ports (owners of The Port of Tilbury) said: "We were thrilled that the Minister joined us for a tour by boat from central London today. The success of the port is our location and connectivity to the Capital. Tilbury’s port operations continue to expand to support London and the South East’s economic growth – from house building, nationally significant infrastructure projects to increased demand for a wide range of household goods.
"The Minister saw for himself the extent of our investment programme and new developments, including NFT’s large-scale chill store which will open in the coming weeks. Collectively, our new operations are creating large scale job opportunities for Thurrock."