Saturday, June 15, 2024

Three Thurrock causes get cash from Lower Thames Crossing fund

THREE good causes have received payouts from National Highways’ Lower Thames Crossing Community Fund.

They are among 55 community and environmental projects along route of the proposed link road through the borough awarded a share of £250,000. 

Orsett Primary SchoolThurrock Local History Society and Re-engage have received money, following in the footsteps of previous donations including provision of 10km of new gigabit capable broadband infrastructure to connect South Ockendon to the existing full fibre network and grants to Essex Wildlife Trust for habitat creation and the RSPB for environmental enhancements at Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve.

If the Lower Thames Crossing is given the go ahead by the government, a larger Community Fund will be established to support communities near to the new road as its being built.

Head of Benefits for the crossing project, Emily Dawson,  said: “We’re committed to helping local communities make the most of our investment in the road network. The Lower Thames Crossing is a transformational project that will improve the journeys for millions and give the region a huge boost.

“In the coming weeks the project will take a step forward as our plans are examined by the Government’s independent planning authority. In the meantime we are delighted to share the details of the fantastic projects we are investing in today, so that our neighbours can feel the benefit of this investment years before a spade goes into the ground.”

Hazel Eddy, Trusts and Foundations Manager at Re-Engage said: “This donation will truly make a difference in helping us support people aged 75 and older living in Thurrock who are lonely, socially isolated and in need of companionship. 

“Sadly, the cost-of-living crisis is forcing many older people to stop accessing social opportunities and with no means of increasing their income, our free services will be more important than ever.  This funding means that our staff and volunteers will be able to show older people that they are not alone.”

The project submitted its planning application in late 2022, and the detailed examination of the proposals by the Government’s independent planning experts, the Planning Inspectorate, will begin on 20 June. The examination period is expected to take six months before a recommendation on whether to grant a Development Consent Order is made to the Secretary of State for Transport. 

However, even if it is approved, work on the project will be delayed. On 9 March 2023 in a written ministerial statement, the Government set back construction by two years.

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