JEWISH communities in London may be set to move out to East Tilbury.
Stamford Hill in North London is home to Europe’s largest concentration of Haredi Jews, estimated to comprise around 27,000 people reports the Hackney Citizen.
With a birth-rate twice that of the UK average, the growing local population is struggling with the lack of large, low-cost housing in inner-London. This is the main factor driving the search for a new satellite community, with areas like East Tilbury offering a significantly more affordable and spacious alternatives.
At the moment, Canvey Island looks to be the most promising location for a Haredi exodus. A vacant school site in the area has been purchased by a Jewish philanthropist with the intention of it becoming a hub for schooling and other communal facilities.
Several Haredi families are also believed to have exchanged contracts for homes in the Thames Estuary. It is likely that 10 families will initially move to the area, which would equate to a start-up community of around one hundred people.
Niti Acharya from Hackney Museum, where an exhibition about the Stamford Hill community is about to open, said Haredi Jews started to settle in Stamford Hill in the 1930s, though the area had been home to Jewish families prior to that.
She said: “After the war, a lot of people were leaving Hackney. East Enders were decamping to have a better way of life and there had been a lot of damage to the area during the war – so it was a lot easier to buy in Hackney then. But now the area is a lot more desirable and house prices are on the rise, which might explain the move to places like Canvey Island.”