Dawning of a new era at Sanofi Dagenham site
PUBLISHED: 11:56 04 May 2013
The dawning of a new era at the Sanofi plant was hailed at a meeting that brought residents up-to-date with what is planned for the site’s future.
Barking and Dagenham mayor Cllr Tony Ramsay acknowledged the departure of the pharmaceutical company from its Dagenham home was ‘the end of an era’ marking 80 years of manufacturing of life-saving medicines.
But he continued: “It is also the dawning of a bright new future for the site through the creation of business-east.”
The latter is the name for the regeneration programme that will see the 108-acre site transformed into a science, technology, business, manufacturing and retail park.
As Sanofi prepares to leave the Rainham Road South site over the next couple of weeks, planning applications are in progress.
Sainsburys will be creating a large store on the site, and there will be a hotel, restaurant, manufacturing units, leisure facilities and a health centre including GP and dental clinics.
Mark Bass, who is coordinating Sanofi’s redevelopment project, said that business-east aims to generate 1,000 jobs over the next two years with around 2,000 employed at the site within five years.
Around 450 of those will be created through the supermarket, while the majority will come from the retention of Sanofi’s science facilities which will become the business-east Science and Technology Park, or BEST.
The existing private members-only May and Baker Club will become the May and Baker Eastbrook Community Club which has been awarded charity status.
Charity consultant Martin Shaw said: “This will be a true community organisation with activities and programmes open to all.”
Those living nearby were concerned about additional traffic and were unsatisfied with talk of traffic lights along Rainham Road South.
Gerald Bowles, 70, of Mayswood Gardens, said: “We already have traffic jams during rush hour, what is it going to be like when thousands more people are working here?”
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