Boris Johnson panel backs �12m bid to regenerate Dagenham plant

A business panel advising Boris Johnson on major regeneration projects has backed a bid that could help safeguard the future of a drug factory earmarked for closure.

The London Enterprise Panel is considering plans to release a �12million City Hall grant to rejuvenate the Sanofi pharmaceutical plant in Dagenham set to close this year with the loss of up to 450 jobs.

Barking and Dagenham Council has applied for the London funding in an attempt to take over 16 acres of the factory site, which is being turned into a science and technology park.

Council bosses would use the grant to buy science buildings at the site in Rainham Road South and then lease them to companies settling down at the business park, called businesseast.

In a response to London Assembly member John Biggs about the bid, Mr Johnson said: “The principle of the proposal to make use of the wide range of laboratories and buildings available to support bioscience, chemistry, forensics, microbiology and other specialist technologies through development into individual units for research, or as the basis for start-up companies, continues to be supported by the London Enterprise Panel. The LEP will now consider the investment proposal.”