Riverside investment to provide Barking and Dagenham business boost

Alan Holland, Segro's business unit director for Greater London, told the Recorder about teh company

Alan Holland, Segro's business unit director for Greater London, told the Recorder about teh company's visision for the 86 acres of the London riverside sites - Credit: Archant

The developer of a multi-million plan to regenerate run-down riverside industrial sites has revealed its intention to build a showroom, trade counters and hotels.

Segro, which won the bid to develop 86 acres of land previously owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), told the Post about its vision for the sites which run across Barking and Dagenham, Havering 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”.

“We want to create jobs and bring investment and regeneration into an area which has underperformed for a number of years,” he explained.

“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.

Barking and Dagenham will be transformed into an incubation centre for start-ups and new business to settle and rent a space on a monthly basis and a “grow-on space” will allow more established companies to grow into.

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He hopes the new business parks will “integrate communities” and particularly be an attractive working place for residents.

“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,” Mr Holland said.

“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 challenge” and he hopes the arrival of Crossrail will help to integrate these “isolated” parts of the boroughs.

As part of the £180million investment Segro is expected to make in the coming years, the creation of a training hub across the different sites would offer residents the possibility to develop relevant skills for the new jobs created.

Segro is in discussion with the Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Newham boroughs to ensure planning applications for each of these sites.