Why Thames Gateway is good for Bexley
Leader of Bexley Council Ian Clement is optimistic about the future of the Thames Gateway project. He, he writes why
Tavy Bridge estate in Thamesmead
"Bexley, with its excellent schools and quality environment, is an appealing prospect for new residents of the growing Thames Gateway, particularly families.
Bexley benefits from extensive open space to the south-east but has pockets of severe urban deprivation in the north. It is the north of the borough which is the focus for Thames Gateway regeneration.
Attracting public investment is a challenge for the Invest Bexley Board due to the widespread perception that Bexley is an affluent place, despite having areas with significant deprivation and overall lower incomes and skills levels than neighbouring London boroughs.
The riverside town of Erith is a key focus for regeneration. It has benefited from extensive regeneration in recent years, including a new shopping centre and innovative public realm improvements. But there is more to do.
Regeneration is also well underway in Thamesmead with the redevelopment of the Tavy Bridge estate. Improving the image of Thamesmead, a 1960s new town that has suffered from significant social problems, will be key to making the new market housing in the area a success.
Invest Bexley is also supporting the redevelopment of Crossness Engines site, a Grade 1 listed industrial visitor centre to enhance the offer of Thamesmead to local people.
Crossness Engines site
Crayford town centre is also a regeneration priority for Bexley. The potential has been identified for 700 new homes by 2016, with 500 new jobs, and a creative industries hub. This is alongside a new secondary school, and significant access and public realm improvements.
Bexley is home to one of London’s strategic employment areas at Belvedere. The stunning new Thames Innovation Centre promises to stimulate business investment and innovation, and to provide assistance to existing and new enterprises in the borough.
Alongside the area-based approach taken by Invest Bexley, the Board recognises the vital importance of the cross-cutting issues of transport and skills development.
The borough is currently the only one in London without a tube, tram or light rail link. New transit systems, Kent Fastrack and Greenwich Waterfront Transit, terminate either side of the borough.
Building on the acclaimed work of Resources plus, the Council’s local labour scheme, Bexley will continue to address the low skill levels in the borough and ensure local people can take advantage of the new jobs available in the borough and across the Gateway.
Plans for the borough mean that local residents could see exciting changes in the coming years. I want to encourage people to get involved in the future choices for their towns, as I believe that with the support of local people, Bexley can be a real success story for regeneration."
last updated: 15/05/2008 at 09:35