Minister lays the foundations at Centenary Quay

28 July 2010

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A visit by Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP - Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government- marked the official start on site of the £500m Centenary Quay development at Woolston Riverside.

The 'foundation laying' ceremony took place on Wednesday 28 July, hosted by Crest Nicholson and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). The event celebrated the commencement of the construction works, recognising the rich heritage associated with the site, and provided an opportunity to share in the vision for the future of Centenary Quay.

There are development of the former Vosper Thorneycroft shipyard site is set to provide 1,620 new homes (of which 25% will be affordable), a Marine Employment Quarter, a foodstore, a range of mixed use office and retail spaces for businesses, a hotel, restaurants and cafes. The development is also expected to create up to 1,000 permanent new jobs.

Chris Tinker, Regeneration chairman from development partner, Crest Nicholson, commented: "This project is a fantastic example of partnership working between the public and private sectors. It has involved funding and commitment from SEEDA, the Homes and Community Agency, Southampton City Council, the Radian and Spectrum Housing Groups and Crest Nicholson.

"This strong collaboration between the public and private sectors has seen the acquisition of the site, the grant of Outline Planning, demolition, remediation and now the commencement of development all within an impressive six year timescale.

"I am delighted that the first phase of Centenary Quay has now commenced - which will deliver £6m new site-wide infrastructure, including the new spine roads and public realm, a decentralised energy system, 92 houses (44 affordable) and 76 apartments (15 affordable) all within the next two years."

Rob Douglas, SEEDA Chairman, added: "SEEDA worked with Southampton City Council to realise an ambitious vision for the former Woolston shipyard and we are delighted to see it begin to emerge, to create new homes and jobs. The City Council and SEEDA have invested significant resource to prepare the site to come to market and bring in key development partners to invest private funds in the neighborhood.

"It is great to have Crest Nicholson on board and we feel sure that even in these uncertain markets, all the work at the planning and design stages of the project, in addition to the upfront investment in making the site a viable development proposition, will deliver an exemplary scheme and provide an exciting new future for Woolston.

"SEEDA's expertise and investment, alongside that of the Homes and Communities Agency, has generated the right conditions to attract investors and businesses alike. This will create a lasting legacy for the area."

Sir Bob Kerslake, Chief executive of the HCA commented:" This is a landmark development for Southampton which will bring new and affordable homes new economic opportunities and new employment to the community"

"We congratulate the partners on what will be a fantastic waterfront scheme and which is exemplary in so many ways. Future residents and the environment will benefit from lower emissions, with one of the largest district heating schemes in the south east planned for the site. The team has worked hard to create a sustainable place for people to live, work and play, and the regeneration of Centenary Quay shows what can be achieved by a strong public and private partnership."

 Lindsay Todd, Chief executive of Radian, added: "Radian is proud to have worked in partnership with Southampton City Council, Crest Nicholson and the Homes and Communities Agency to secure the funding for more than 400 new affordable homes in Woolston. I am confident that Centenary Quay will be a fantastic place to live and work, providing not only homes but shops, restaurants and community facilities. This will benefit the new residents and also the wider community across Southampton."

Cllr Royston Smith, Leader of Southampton City Council, concluded: "I am delighted that the first phase of Centenary Quay, a key part of Southampton's renaissance vision, is now underway. The council is committed to delivering strong and distinctive neighbourhoods - good places to live and is committed to encouraging and supporting growth in Southampton as a regional centre within a prosperous South Hampshire. This exciting development has started due to the funding and commitment of Southampton City Council, SEEDA, the Homes and Communities Agency, Spectrum and Radian Housing Associations and Crest Nicholson."

For more media information please contact Paula Quigley at Grayling on 02380 382970. Or contact Tim Abbott in the HCA press office on 0118 902 8441 /


Notes to Editors

Crest Nicholson is firmly established as a leading regeneration developer with a passion for not just building homes, but creating vibrant sustainable communities. The Company's track record shows demonstrable commitment to delivering innovative, design led, residential developments and large scale, mixed use, urban regeneration solutions. Its ongoing emphasis on environmentally responsible housing and commitment to deliver truly low carbon sustainable schemes is evident by an ever increasing development portfolio.


The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England. The HCA's role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. They provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.

The HCA pledged its support to the Centenary Quay development to enable the start on site, as the development had stalled because of the challenging economic conditions. The national housing and regeneration agency has committed to fund 235 new affordable homes and the new energy centre from the National Affordable Housing Programme and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund.

SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency, is the Government-funded agency responsible for the sustainable economic development of the South East of England - the driving force of the UK's economy. Through supporting businesses, encouraging innovation, developing skills and engaging with public and private partners, we aim to create a successful, sustainable future for the region.

SEEDA's support helped deliver the following over the period 2009-2010:

  • Over 10,000 jobs created or safeguarded, including 7,000 jobs created through inward investment work
  • 65 inward investment successes
  • Some 52,000 businesses were supported to improve performance
  • Over 5,700 new businesses created and demonstrating growth
  • Nearly 16,000 people assisted to improve their skills and over 15,000 assisted to gain employment

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