High tech businesses are being set up in the New Year in Barking in create “smart city” technology to help cut home energy bills and tackle the climate crisis.

It comes in a deal by Barking and Dagenham Council with Thames Freeport that opens the floodgates to businesses from South Korea to move in to create a “smart homes hub” to develop technology for more efficient and sustainable living.

Korean entrepreneurs will be setting up in Barking early in 2024 to develop solutions that hopefully improve the energy and heating efficiency of people’s homes, helping to cut costly household bills while reducing their CO2 emissions.

“We are committed to combating the growing climate emergency,” Barking and Dagenham council leader Darren Rodwell promised.

“But this partnership with South Korea isn’t just about saving the environment — it’s also about bringing in skilled jobs and high-level investment to Barking.

“This is a huge opportunity to cement our position as a place for innovation on the world stage.”

The council’s Be First regeneration agency is involved in the pilot agreement as part of a strategy towards “smart city” technology to solve the energy and infrastructure challenges of east London’s rapid urban population growth.

Focus is also on making homes safer, especially for the disabled and other vulnerable people, through development of health technology for the home.

The collaboration between Britain and South Korea is being based in Barking with the Thames Freeport agreement to create a “high-tech highway” to boost the UK’s global trade.

Freeport chief executive Martin Whiteley said: “This deal will stimulate trade and investment, creating worthwhile jobs and encourage regeneration in the surrounding areas.”

Thames Freeport was set up as the “London Gateway” to stimulate Britain’s global trade while also speeding up the energy transition of east London boroughs like Barking and Dagenham towards cleaner fuel and net zero emissions.

The freeport is an economic area connecting Ford’s Dagenham engine plant to the ports of Tilbury and London Gateway in the Thames estuary, with an emphasis on electric vehicle technology. It is aiming to attract £4.3billion in private investment.