Segro unveils vision for industrial regeneration in Rainham
PUBLISHED: 11:51 30 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:51 30 October 2015
The developer of a multi-million plan to regenerate at least eight run-down industrial sites in Rainham hopes to create jobs and help businesses grow.
Segro, which won the bid to develop 86 acres of riverside land previously owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), told the Recorder about its vision for the sites, which run across Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Newham on both sides of the A13 corridor.
Alan Holland, Segro’s business units director for Greater London, said the company was keen to adopt “an area-based approach”.
He said: “We want to create jobs and bring investment and regeneration into an area which has under performed for a number of years.
“East London has always been in the shadow of west London but the time is now right for east London to set up. For London to grow it needs to grow east.
“We want to establish momentum and create confidence in the community.”
The 10-year plan will transform each of the London riverside sites into distinctive business estates depending on their physical assets.
Following market research, Segro concluded businesses wanting to settle in Rainham wish to own their own working space.
Mr Holland explained the “own your own” concept was aimed a mixture of businesses, commercial and more traditional, which would like their own freehold.
He hopes the new business park will “integrate communities” and particularly be an attractive working place for residents of the £40million Beam Park development in Rainham, where 3,500 homes, a school, a leisure centre and a train station are to be built.
“We tend to find about 75 per cent of the people who work on our sites live in a 10 mile radius of the business estate,” said Mr Holland.
“The sites have an impact on people’s lives when we can get people into work and we get a real range of jobs. The aim is that they integrate communities and take them on board.”
Mr Holland admitted transport will be one of the company’s “biggest challenges” and he hopes the arrival of Crossrail will help to integrate these “isolated” parts of the boroughs.
Segro’s £180million investment includes the creation of a training hub.
The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, CEME, a not-for-profit education and skills organisation based in Rainham, is already in talks with Segro about the plan, which will look to bring together public and private training partners.
So far, all the plans are indicative and Segro is in discussion with Havering, Newham and Barking and Dagenham Councils to gain planning permission for the sites.
Segro will finalise the contract with the GLA in December and hopes to start work by summer 2016. Work will begin in Barking and Dagenham and should start in Rainham in the following 12 months.
Barking and Dagenham will be transformed into an incubation centre for start-ups and new business, while proposals for Newham include a car-showroom, trade counters and hotels.
This partnership between the GLA and Segro is the largest of its kind between the public sector and a private land developer in London and means 99 per cent of all GLA land has now been released for development.