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Progress report - Rainham Compass project

The new look Rainham sign. The new look Rainham sign.

Sunday, March 2, 2014
12:00 PM

A brand new library, the regeneration of Orchard Village, the creation of 800 jobs and the restoration of a National Trust hall - the Rainham Compass project is approaching the five-year mark, and we take a look at its progress.

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Top 10 projects

n Rainham Library, learning and community centre – a new £4.5million community and cultural facility for local people, due to open in May.

n Rainham Station Interchange – a £1.5million project linking bus and rail services.

n Rainham Primary School – integrated childrens’ centre and education provision.

n Rainham Hall – a £279,000 gardens restoration project to create community open space in the heart of Rainham Village and a £1.5million restoration of this National Trust property.

n Orchard Village – a £140million scheme demolishing unpopular tower blocks and creating decent homes for local people

n High quality employment space creating more than 1,000 local jobs on Easter Park, a 30-acre business park owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

n Tesco distribution centre on Beam Reach 5, a 90-acre employment site owned by the GLA, creating 800 local jobs.

n Rainham Village Transport Management System and public realm improvements – a £1.7million scheme which introduced one-way traffic and parking facilities along Upminster Road South.

n The successful re-election of the London Riverside Business Improvement District to support business growth in the strategic employment area including winning £1.18million of funding.

n Wildspace – a new £4.08million community park, designed to reconnect the Rainham community back to the river and the marshes as well as connecting people to the green space around them.

The project, announced in 2009, outlined the ambition for Raiham Village and surrounding areas, set around four key “compass” points - Rainham Village, Rainham community, Rainham enterprise, and the Rainham Riverside.

Some have been delivered on schedule, while others are still in the works, and original cost estimates of £70m have grown to £150m.

Much of that has been swallowed up by the Orchard Village project, a regeneration of the infamous Mardyke Estate, which has transformed the area and is expected to be completed by 2016.

In addition, the new Rainham Library building, labelled by cabinet member for culture, towns and communities, Cllr Andrew Curtin, as “the most perfect building in the borough,” will open its doors in May.

Last summer, Rainham Hall opened its doors after a £1.5m restoration grant and 800 jobs were created at the new Tesco distribution centre on Beam Reach 5, a 90 acre employment site owned by the GLA.

But not everything went as planned, and the proposed new-build Rainham Primary School was deemed “unachievable,” and refurbishment took place instead.

Discussions are still ongoing with local GPs for a surgery in Rainham Village and the new train station proposed for Beam Park has not materialised.

Earlier this month, cabinet delivered a report on the progress. Deputy council leader and despite some setbacks, cabinet member for Rainham, Cllr Michael Armstrong, called the regeneration a “great success story.”

He added: “To achieve these ambitions for our area the council works closely with partners.

“The last four years have seen major projects bring big benefits. The next four should bring even more through projects which include working with the National Trust to make Rainham a heritage attraction for visitors, regenerating Beam Park by building 4,000 new homes and two new primary schools as well as working with Transport for London to create improved bus services.”

The report stated that by 2020, Rainham will be a place of culture, commerce, community and beauty.

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