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24 September 2014

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Located to the East of London, Thurrock's port facilities and its proximity to London and five international airports make this a key regeneration area at the centre of the Thames Gateway.

River Thames with QEII bridge
The QEII bridge was opened in 1991

Thurrock has over 18 miles of riverside providing many attractive sites for commercial and residential development, and manufacturing and logistics activities.

The vision

There are five key areas identified for regeneration in Thurrock, these are: London Gateway (Shellhaven), Tilbury, Grays, Lakeside/West Thurrock, Purfleet.

There are several exciting projects in the pipeline for the area.  These include a National Skills Academy for Live Performing Arts and relocation of the Royal Opera House's scenery production facility.  There are plans to create more jobs in a range of new and existing industries including, retailing, research and development, creative industries and logistics, transport and distribution.

The numbers

There will be 18,500 new homes and 26,000 new jobs by 2021.  This growth will be supported by new community facilities and services and improved infrastructure.

London Gateway (Shellhaven)

Pending government approval, there are plans for Shellhaven to become a world class container and multi-use port.

With a proposed quayside 2.3km long, and a 283 hectares (700 acres) commercial centre, London Gateway will be the largest of all the new container ports in the country capable of handling the equivalent of 3.5 million 20 foot containers each year.

The port and a logistics park, together with warehousing distribution and associated businesses will provide for some 16,500 new jobs by 2021.

A Master Plan for London Gateway will be prepared for consultation this year.


Tilbury Port manages bulk cargoes such as paper and cars, but also provides a London terminal for international cruise liners.  It is a major employer in the Borough and has the capacity to accommodate 500 new jobs.

The vision for Tilbury is still being developed.  The Master Plan will be finalised later this year.


The vision is for the town to become a centre of specialised learning and to provide a focus for improved health and social care, resulting in 4,500 new jobs and 5,000 new homes.

University College Grays

Work is underway with further and higher education bodies to develop the University College Grays.  The new campus will provide a wide range of FE/HE, community and work based learning opportunities, with a central location and a cutting edge landmark design. 

The campus, and the influx of students, staff and visitors will encourage investment and new business growth.

Courses will be delivered at all levels across the following key areas:

  • Business entrepreneurship, project management
  • Law
  • Retail
  • Environmental sciences/Renewable energy
  • Transport & Logistics
  • Health & Social Care
  • Teacher training, youth and community work
  • Social sciences
  • Performing Arts and Creative Industries

Lakeside & West Thurrock

Lakeside Basin has already demonstrated the potential for regeneration within Thurrock.  It is the largest area of retail space in Europe, drawing in visitors from across the region.


The Master Plan is expected to be finalised this year and will seek to expand the shopping area, to spruce up the shopping centres, to establish a major leisure facility and to improve transport links with pedestrian friendly access.

These developments, along with warehousing and other complimentary businesses will attract 5,000 new jobs and there is provision for 2,300 new homes.


The plan is to build 2,200 new homes with access to the waterfront, new shops and improved facilities.

There will be investment in transport links and at least 1,000 new jobs will be created through commercial and industrial expansion.

Botany Way is earmarked for mixed use development and will be served by a new link road to open up the area.

Proposals include improved facilities for learning and a new primary school in the centre of Purfleet.

RSPB Rainham Marshes

RSPB at Rainham
RSPB at Rainham

The Environment and Education Centre in Purfleet, provides views across the marshes and the River Thames, and has a café, shop and classroom. 

It features solar panels, rainwater harvesting, natural light and ventilation and a ground source heat exchange system.

For more information on the RSPB Environment and Education Centre click on the link below.

Essential links

Click on the links below for more information about who is involved with the development of Thurrock.

Thurrock Thames GatewayDC >
Thurrock Council >
RSPB Rainham Marshes >
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last updated: 06/03/07
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