Cabinet: Thousands of jobs coming to Dagenham’s Ford and Sanofi sites
PUBLISHED: 09:45 01 October 2014
A pair of huge developments at the historic sites of Dagenham’s former biggest businesses could see the creation of thousands of new jobs over the coming years.
Plans for a housing zone encompassing the old Ford stamping plant were announced at Thursday’s cabinet meeting, alongside the unveiling of a new science and technology park at the former Sanofi site.
Member for regeneration Cllr Cameron Geddes outlined proposals to build up to new 2,500 new homes on the 20-hectare Beam Park and 17.5-hectare old car plant sites, the latter of which closed in July 2013 after almost 90 years of operations in Dagenham. Still currently owned by the American car giants, Ford will officially leave the site early next year, but ideas are already being formed to ensure its historical significance is not forgotten.
The site could host a Ford heritage centre to bring cars and archives together under one roof, in a similar mould to Fiat’s iconic Centro Storico in Turin.
Barking and Dagenham bosses also plan to deliver an improved shopping and leisure complex at Merrielands Crescent, provided it “does not harm the vitality of Dagenham Heathway”.
Economic estimates show a need for 6,000sq m of extra retail space in the borough by 2032, which could be satisfied within the “New Heart for Dagenham at Chequers Corner”.
Straddling either side of Chequers Lane, the centre would incorporate Merrielands Crescent, the Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre and surrounding line.
Meanwhile the innovative technology park, off Rainham Road South, is set to a host of different scientific industries including medical, forensics, test laboratories and automotive engineering.
Boasting 450,000 sq ft of business space within a 17-acre campus environment, Cllr Geddes insists it could create “thousands of jobs across a variety of different skill-sets”.
The development joins a Sainsbury’s super market and Marston’s pub and restaurant at the site.
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