Havering Council set to sign off on £3.5million funding boost for Rainham regeneration

Havering Town Hall

Havering Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Havering Council is expected to sign off on a £3.5million funding boom for regeneration work across Rainham next week – made possible in part by a £1.6m grant from City Hall.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, June 12, the borough's leading councillors will be asked to approve a grant agreement with the Greater London Authority (GLA) as part of the capital's Good Growth Fund intiative.

This grant agreement would see the GLA provide £1,631,940 towards an "Innovation Hub" in Rainham.

The council would be match-funding the scheme by providing a further £1,921,765.

The borough's Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) would provide £800,000 of this, £16,200 would be invested in the form of staff hours and the local authority would enter into a commitment to source a further £56,000 from business sponsorship or Section 106 agreements - deals that contractually oblige developers to provide funds for local investment.

If the council failed to identify where this £56,000 could come from by the start of the 2021/22 financial year, it would instead be withdrawn from the borough's economic development budget.

The remaining £1,049,565 will be provided by the council's partners on the project - Havering College, the London Riverside Business Improvement District (BID) and developers Segro.

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When news of the funding was announced in January, Councillor Damian White, leader of the council, said: "We remain committed to delivering regeneration that creates great places as well as significant opportunities for local businesses and residents.

"This funding will help attract investment to create more jobs and career opportunities to ensure the benefits of regeneration help to improve the lives of residents in all areas of the borough."

According to cabinet papers, there are two main elements to the scheme.

The first will be spearheaded by the London Riverside BID and will centre around improving outdoor areas to provide more places for people to sit and enjoy their lunch breaks.

The report states: "The aim of this element of the project is to improve access into and around the BID area and improve the environment for staff and make the area a more attractive working environment."

The second part is the creation of an innovation hub, which is being made possible by a three-way partnership between Havering Council, Havering College and Segro.

This will be created at Havering College's Rainham campus, and the funding will be used to invest in new technologies and will be included in the teaching of students to address skills gaps in the construction sector.

The signing off on the funding is part of the council's plans for a regeneration of the wider Rainham area.

Also in the pipeline are the creation of 3,000 new homes and a new station at Beam Park, and the transformation of the New Road corridor into an attractive high quality green street.