Building starts on 'UK first' sustainable industrial development in Barking

Be First's Lily Kwong, Darren Rodwell and Patrick Murphy, McLaren operations director, at the construction site

Be First's Lily Kwong, council leader Darren Rodwell and Patrick Murphy, McLaren operations director, at the construction site - Credit: Ben Pipe

Work has begun on a multi-million pound industrial development in Barking, hailed as a UK first.

Barking and Dagenham Council's development arm Be First has come up with the Industria scheme, which it claims will be the first multi-storey light industrial development in the country.

It will feature a multi-storey hub and four storey buildings on each side of a courtyard.

Be First said two living walls will help to create a more sustainable space for industry.

There will also be flexible light industrial units of up to 5,200 square feet and factory units up to 2,500 sq ft.

The council has invested £37million into the project and its leader Darren Rodwell said: “Industria will host a huge range of makers and creators, all ready to generate a new industrial revolution down by the river."

There will be around 350 people employed at the site, which will also include a business centre, ground floor shops and a public cafe.

Industria CGI

What the Industria development could look like when it is complete - Credit: Haworth Tompkins

Most Read

Industria will also feature meeting rooms, on-site parking and cycle parking.

Be First's development manager Lily Kwong hailed the project as "a beacon of sustainable industrial development".

“Industria will be the first development of its kind built in the UK, providing high-quality modern space which will enable business to thrive in Barking riverside.”

Construction at the site in Thames Road began last week and the project is being delivered by building firm McLaren.

The Mayor of London's Good Growth Fund has also supported the scheme with £1m funding.

The capital's deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The mayor and I are determined to use the Good Growth Fund to challenge preconceptions about how regeneration takes place.

"This is why we are pleased to be supporting this new innovative, sustainable development that will provide hundreds of new jobs and opportunities for local people. 

"Industria is a great example of positive collaboration between the public and private sectors and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the community.”

The scheme is expected to be completed by February 2023.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter