Regeneration is about 'winning hearts and minds', council leader says

Gascoine West Topping OuT ceremony with Cllr Darren Rodwell

L-R: Adrian Fennessy, operations director at Wates Residential, Cllr Darren Rodwell, Tim Wates, director of Wates Residential, and Jared Birch from Be First. - Credit: Andrew Baker

Real regeneration is not about "bricks and mortar", but "winning hearts and minds".

That was the message from Barking and Dagenham Council's leader, Cllr Darren Rodwell, at a ceremony marking the Gascoigne Estate's redevelopment.

He said: "Real regeneration is about using our investment to power the economy in a way that gives people better opportunities.

"It’s much more than bricks and mortar, it’s about winning hearts and minds."

Cllr Rodwell was at an event hosted by building firm Wates Residential to top out the first of 201 homes in Abbey Road, Barking. 

The ceremony coincided with the launch of a report by the town hall's regeneration arm Be First which boasts of pumping £39million into the borough's economy since 2017. 

Gascoigne Estate's redevelopment will see more than 2,200 "affordable" homes, tree-lined streets and parks created. 

The topping out ceremony celebrated the completion of two towers rising six storeys and 12 storeys.  The work is due to be finished by April.