Government sets out Gateway Plans

Published 29 November 2007

The Prime Minister and Housing Minister Yvette Cooper today published the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan, setting out for the first time how cross-Government investment of more than £9 billion will be spent to deliver Europe's largest regeneration project.

The Plan details how the Government will accelerate progress in the Gateway in key areas; a strong economy, a better quality of life for residents, and the creation of an eco-region in the Gateway. The Government announced:

  • The projected number of jobs that will be created by the Thames Gateway project - 225,000 by 2016 (up from the original target of 180,000),
  • How the cross-Government investment of more than £9bn will be allocated - for vital infrastructure such as jobs; education; transport schemes and new affordable homes.
  • The signing of the 2016 Thames Gateway pledge to achieve regeneration, environmental sustainability, community development and economic opportunity.
  • The designation of Thames Gateway as the UK's first-ever eco region with a new Eco-Quarter; retrofitted green improvements to existing homes and the first advice centre from the new Green Homes Service; and plans for a water-neutral and a zero construction waste target.

Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said:

"Since last year the Government has secured funding for major projects that are transforming the Gateway - the new deal on Crossrail, a new high speed line to London, Paris and Brussels, and London Gateway, the biggest deepwater port in Europe.

"We have already achieved a great deal but we must raise our ambitions and go further and faster.

"We've now set out plans and money to do so - with a new eco-region offering a great quality of life for its inhabitants; with new educational opportunities and transport links as well as affordable homes; and with better training to equip the local workforce to benefit from the 225,000 new jobs in their area."

Signatories of the Thames Gateway Pledge 2016 are drawn from organisations across the regeneration project and include Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London; the Chairs of the Gateway's three sub-regional partnerships who represent every local authority in the Gateway as well as private developers; and Sir Robin Wales, on behalf of the five Olympic boroughs.

The Thames Gateway Pledge 2016

  • 160,000 additional homes of all tenures
  • A commitment to quality
  • 225,000 new jobs in the Gateway in a growing economy
  • Ensuring the 2012 Olympics leaves a lasting and beneficial legacy
  • Expanding training opportunities, with an increase to 13,500 apprenticeships and 10,000 new college places for local people
  • A major step-change in the Thames Gateway public transport network
  • High environmental standards, with every new home a zero-carbon home by 2016, 80 per cent built on brownfield land, using water wisely and protecting against flooding.

The Plan is based around three key pillars - a strong economy, improvements in the quality of life for local communities and the development of an eco-region.

A Strong Economy - in addition to the new target for jobs, the Plan announces:

  • a £200 million Strategic Economic Investment Fund to support priority projects from the RDAs' Thames Gateway Economic Development Investment Plan, that the RDAs estimate will lever in an additional £75 million on top of their baseline annual investment;
  • a Pan-Gateway Skills Plan developed by the Learning and Skills Councils to invest £1.6 billion in teaching and learning, and £850 million in new building for further education;
  • the building and opening of new and extended further and higher education campuses in Grays and Basildon, Swale and Medway, creating around 9,000 further education places;
  • commitment to a recommended approach to the biggest remaining constraint to development in the Thames Gateway, J30 of the M25 (the junction with the A13) with an announcement in 2008;
  • an allocation of £100 million from the Community Infrastructure Fund to invest in 13 local transport schemes.

Better Quality of Life - in the Plan:

  • we prioritise our funding from the Thames Gateway programme to secure housing programmes in the ten locations where extra homes are most urgently needed. These ten programmes are expected to deliver nearly 110,000 homes by 2016, the majority of our target figure;
  • we set out the Housing Corporation's intention to invest over £800 million in around 15,000 affordable homes;
  • we confirm that Communities and Local Government will ask the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) to do a further Housing Audit in the Gateway in 2010 to measure progress in improving design quality;
  • we include planned spending of over £600 million in this CSR period as part of a longer term £1.4 billion programme on new hospital provision serving the Gateway;
  • we include planned investment of £1.2 billion on new or substantially refurbished school buildings in Gateway authorities, as well as £278 million allocated for Sure Start centres, including 90 new ones;
  • we announce the appointment of Sir Terry Farrell as Design Champion for the Thames Gateway Parklands, a new programme to celebrate and enhance the individual character of the Gateway backed by a £35 million allocation of Thames Gateway funding to invest in improving the natural and urban environment.

Creation of an eco-region - the Plan announces:

  • that Communities and Local Government will invite proposals for a new Eco-Quarter in the Gateway, similar to the plans for Eco-Towns - for the first time - within an existing urban area;
  • a continuing commitment to 80 per cent of new homes being built on brownfield land;
  • £2 million available to promoters and developers to fund eco-risk assessments of the top ten housing programmes, to ensure they will design in climate change mitigation, flood risk management, energy and water efficiency from the start;
  • planned investment of £15 million in a community-focused programme to retrofit existing homes with energy saving measures that will reduce emissions by up to 60 per cent;
  • an allocation of £1.5 million from the Thames Gateway fund to work with the Energy Savings Trust to establish the first of the new national energy service centres to deliver the Green Homes Services across the Gateway;
  • a follow-up to our 'water neutrality' feasibility study, investigating costs and possible delivery mechanisms;
  • work on the costs and possible delivery mechanisms for a zero construction waste target across the Gateway;
  • jobs and training in new environmental technologies
  • investment by the RDAs in an International Institute for Sustainability.

Notes to editors

The Thames Gateway Delivery Plan is available online at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/thamesgateway/deliveryplan

The Thames Gateway executive summary is available online at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/thamesgateway/deliveryplansummary

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