A selection of images representing communities.
The Thames Gateway is the UK's largest economic development programme, stretching for 40 miles along the Thames Estuary from the London Docklands to Southend in Essex and Sheerness in Kent. The programme aims to maximise the potential of the Thames Gateway to provide London with the space to grow.
It supports the continued growth of Greater London and the Greater South East as a driver of the UK's prosperity. London's continued growth is critical to the future prosperity of the Greater South East and the United Kingdom as a whole. Crucial to that continued growth is the regeneration of the Thames Gateway, which offers London the space to grow.
The Thames Gateway is the latest manifestation of the regeneration of the Thames Estuary which in one form or another dates back to 1981, stretching down the estuary to Southend and Swale.
Despite the recent recession the long term growth pressures on London and the South East remain and the cost of doing business is high: office and staff costs are relatively high, there is transport congestion with overcrowding and delays, and housing costs are high. Alongside the Government's plan to rebalance the economic performance of the UK/England, it is the Thames Gateway that offers the opportunity to enable continued growth of London and the South East. It is an area with unparalleled growth potential, presenting a range of opportunities including:
The Thames Gateway still lags behind the rest of the Greater South East in economic terms. The Gateway suffers from lower average skill levels amongst residents, comparatively high unemployment, higher than average numbers employed in low added value sectors, with consequent problems in attracting high value sectors and investment to the Thames Gateway.
The Government is committed to making a success of the Thames Gateway. We believe the right way forward is for the people of the Thames Gateway to decide its future for themselves. In future, strategic leadership will come from local authorities and the Mayor of London. This will take the form of a new Thames Gateway Strategic Group, which had it's first meeting in February 2011. Building on Sir Terry Farrell's vision for the Thames Gateway, they will chart the course for its development in coming years.
In addition to this decentralisation, we will promote incentives to invest and develop in the area, instead of grant funding specific projects.
Within government, the Department for Communities and Local Government will continue to promote Thames Gateway as a strategically significant place, to work with other departments to identify how their programmes bear on the Thames Gateway and need to be adapted to reflect the context, and to facilitate individual schemes or projects that necessitate cross-Government collaboration.
There are several key projects that will deliver significant growth in the Thames Gateway and involve cross-Government facilitation:
There have been several recent developments in the Thames Gateway, for example: