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Barking and Dagenham Council buys business park as plans for 'digital and media powerhouse' pass 'major milestone'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:57 23 January 2019

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell signs the deal with SOG Group boss John Lewis at Londoneast, Dagenham. Picture: PAUL STALLARD

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell signs the deal with SOG Group boss John Lewis at Londoneast, Dagenham. Picture: PAUL STALLARD

© 2019 Candid Pictures. Free for Londoneast use

The council has bought a business park as part of plans to develop a digital and media ‘powerhouse’ in the borough.

Council chief executive Chris Naylor, Cllr Rodwell, John Lewis and Londoneast-uk Site operations manager Ryan Lewis. Picture: PAUL STALLARDCouncil chief executive Chris Naylor, Cllr Rodwell, John Lewis and Londoneast-uk Site operations manager Ryan Lewis. Picture: PAUL STALLARD

SOG Group sold Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park in Rainham Road South to Barking and Dagenham Council for an undisclosed sum, it was announced earlier today.

Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “This is a brilliant regeneration opportunity that we are investing in on behalf of the borough.”

He described the deal as a “major milestone” in the council’s plan to develop the park which is currently home to 42 small businesses employing about 500 people.

The Londoneast-uk site has been earmarked for a major new film studio and a data centre already being built.

The council predicts the overall redevelopment will see thousands of jobs created.

SOG Group boss John Lewis said Dagenham’s regeneration story was an example to the rest of the country on how private and public sectors could work together for the benefit of the community.

He said a 10-year plan to rejuvenate the location had been achieved in just five years.

Mr Lewis said: “With all the ongoing fallout over Brexit and the major job cuts being announced in the car and nuclear power industries, it is important to acknowledge how we are actually reversing that trend – and we have done it without any government subsidies.

“I’m immensely proud of the role SOG has played but it is now time for a bigger organisation to take over the reins.”

Cllr Rodwell said: “We are not coming in here to change things but we are coming to continue the development of this fantastic business park.”

The council firm, Barking and Dagenham Trading Partnership (BDTP), will oversee the site’s management with no planned redundancies.

Ed Skeates, from the council’s regeneration firm Be First, said: “This is a huge deal for Dagenham and its drive to become a media and digital powerhouse.”

The 17-acre Londoneast-uk site was part of the former Sanofi pharmaceutical plant before the firm moved out in 2014.

UK business park owner-operator SOG Group bought some of the old Sanofi buildings before turning them into a science and business park.

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