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BOLD Barking and Dagenham

Barking and Dagenham Swan is committed to growing its development programme in Barking working in partnership with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to deliver schemes of the highest design quality

Sports illustrated Leader board: new council chief’s vision for his borough Creative cluster: east London’s burgeoning cultural hub

Innovative homes designed for tomorrow’s lifestyles and technologies Visit swan.org.uk for further information or contact the development team on 0800 819 9390 to discuss partnership opportunities that can make a difference. Image shown is computer generated and subject to change.

issue 4 2015

Swan Housing Group is a dynamic housing association committed to delivering high quality regeneration projects throughout East London and Essex. • Embracing innovation and providing solutions • Sustainable developments and awareness • Making positive changes for communities • Delivering high quality homes throughout the Thames Gateway

Issue 4 2015 boldmagazine.co.uk


Bespoke training, short courses, apprenticeships & higher apprenticeships

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Siemens only works with truly excellent partners to deliver skills and knowledge to our apprentices Barking & Dagenham College is our partner in London.

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Whether you are a global name or a sole trader, for all your training needs talk to the Employer Services Team at Barking & Dagenham College.

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Contents

4 News News and updates – it’s full steam ahead for the regeneration of Barking and Dagenham

45 sport and leisure

A summary of some of Barking and Dagenham’s main developments

With two new leisure centres, a top-notch go-kart track and a Moby Dick golf course, there are plenty of options for getting active

30 commercial space

Council leader Darren Rodwell aims to increase the pace of high-quality regeneration in the borough

Businesses are flocking to Barking and Dagenham in their droves, drawn to the area’s location and its excellent connectivity

35 barking town centre Heavy-hitting schemes are creating a buzz in the transformation of an awardwinning town centre

40 skills for employment 16 creative industries Set on Barking’s riverside, the Boathouse is attracting an eclectic mix of creativity

cover IMAGE: Becontree Heath Leisure Centre IMAGES: Rooff, Hufton+Crow, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Barking & Dagenham College, Paul Bennett | London 24, Countryside, Living Streets, Estates & Agency, TfL, David Tothill, Timothy Soar and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, James Millar, Tim Crocker, The Filim Company, londoneast-uk, Allies & Morrison, East Thames, Pollard Thomas Edwards, DP World, Landid, Cormack Advertising, Bouygues Development/ David Miller, Kevin Westenberg, Golf Kingdom, Capital Karts, Willmott Dixon

23 map and projects

9 view from the top

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editorial director: Siobhán Crozier editor: Maria Shahid chief reporter: James Wood head of design: Rachael Schofield Art Direction: Smallfury Designs prOduction assistant: Christopher Hazeldine business Development director: Paul Gussar business development manager: Shelley Cook Office manager: Sue Mapara subscriptions manager: Simon Maxwell Managing director: Toby Fox

Students of all ages are able to acquire a toolkit of transferable skills, via apprenticeships, vocational courses and entrepreneurship, at Barking & Dagenham College

Printed by: Bishops Printers Published by: 3Fox International 375 Kennington Lane London SE11 5QY T: 020 7978 6840

50 markets Facts and figures about Barking and Dagenham

54 sitematch Divisional director for regeneration and economic development, Jeremy Grint, discusses the speed-dating style event, Sitematch

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For the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham David Harley, group manager (economic development and sustainable communities) Town Hall, 1 Town Square Barking IG11 7LU boldmagazine.co.uk © 3Fox International Limited 2015. All material is ­strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written ­permission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly ­forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at time of going to press, but we accept no ­responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this ­magazine are not n ­ ecessarily those of 3Fox International Limited.

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NewS College wins entrepreneurship award Barking & Dagenham College has been announced as the winner of a “High Impact Award” by the organisers of Global Entrepreneurship Week, in recognition of its contribution to the event. During the week, students at the college got involved in a number of projects, including The Apprentice challenge, where they were asked to create a drink, before presenting it to a panel of professionals, and then selling their drink at the college’s Christmas market. In addition, a number of networking opportunities were organised, as well as 4

workshops designed to support and encourage the students’ nascent business ideas. Students from the college were also selected from over 1,300 nationally, to go forward into the finals of the national competition, Market Maker, where they came up with the concept of “Tiptoe Shoes”, designed to transform from a high heel into a more practical shoe. Adnan Mahmood, chief entrepreneurial leader at the college, commented: “We are delighted to have won the High Impact Award. We are passionate about instilling entrepreneurial skills in our students.”


Bold | News

Borough’s housing spend pays dividend

Best for small business Barking and Dagenham has been named among the best places in London to launch a small business. The Federation of Small Businesses index rated Barking and Dagenham just behind Bromley as the “most attractive borough in London for small business owners to operate in, by providing the least burdensome environment”. Councillor Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are a council with a new and highly ambitious leadership, and we are committed to supporting new business and growing our borough.”

Barking and Dagenham Council has announced it is investing more in housing than any other borough in London. Its annual spend on housing of £11 million has seen 669 homes built in the last year, according to the authority, including 38 bungalows for older residents, which it said has freed up three and four bedroom-houses for locals on waiting lists. The council also said work has been done on bathrooms, kitchens and electrical appliances at 3,247 homes, since it introduced its Internal Decent Homes programme in 2013.

Deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, Councillor Saima Ashraf, said: “Despite the financial constraints on councils across the country, we are proud to be undertaking the biggest home building programme since the 1960s, to meet the growing demand for homes. Unlike the rest of London, we are investing unprecedented amounts to improve and expand our housing. “We are committed to delivering housing in a range of tenures, which will help to create thriving communities in well maintained homes, and contribute to the wellbeing of our residents.”

GLA seeks A13 partner The Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking a partner to deliver industrial development along the A13 corridor, running through Barking and Dagenham. The GLA said that it would establish a formal partnership, which will be developed in a way

that generates employment, creates value and supports the wider economy of east London. It will be looking for a partner to take sites to the market in a “co-ordinated and considered manner”, with potential to see development over 34.8 hectares.

A breakfast event took place on 15 December at City Hall, attended by representatives from the GLA, as well as the London Borough of Havering and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, to hear about ambitions for the corridor. 5


Charity creates new walking initiative National charity, Living Streets, is encouraging residents at Barking Riverside to walk more and explore landmarks and places to visit in the area. It aims to ensure that walking routes are “safe and easy”, helping to support “connected, vibrant and healthy communities”. The charity recently collaborated with the Creekmouth Preservation Society to create four heritage walks to the historic site of Creekmouth village, which dates back to the 1700s.

Sainsbury’s gets green light The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s planning committee have given the go-ahead for a new Sainsbury’s superstore.

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The 9,544sq m supermarket will open at the Abbey Retail Park, which is owned by Estates & Agency Properties. The store will include a

5,574sq m sales area, as well as 400 car parking spaces. It is predicted that almost 500 jobs will be created when the store opens.


Bold | News

Gascoigne estate plans approved

Overground extension moves two steps closer The government has announced a principal heads of terms agreement for a £55 million loan to support the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside. The news comes following years of lobbying by Barking and Dagenham Council together with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL), and was announced in the chancellor’s autumn statement in December 2014. Councillor Cameron Geddes, Barking and Dagenham’s cabinet member for regeneration, welcomed the announcement, which he believes will connect thousands of new homes and “unlock the potential” of Barking Riverside. The 179-ha site is one of the largest residential developments in Europe, and has the potential to create up to 11,000 new homes. Geddes said: “This is fantastic news for the future growth of the

borough. Over the last six months, this council has significantly stepped up its relationship with the mayor of London and the GLA. “This investment signals growing confidence in Barking and Dagenham as a destination and place in London. It reinforces the borough’s deserved reputation as London’s growth opportunity.” The Overground extension has also received overwhelming support following a recent public consultation, in which 90% of respondents voted in favour. Michèle Dix CBE, TfL’s managing director of planning, said: “This public consultation has demonstrated there is huge support for this extension.” Planning work will continue, with a second public consultation expected in spring 2015. Subject to the outcome, TfL will seek to get powers from the Department of Transport to build and operate this section of railway.

Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee has given the go-ahead for plans to regenerate the Gascoigne estate in Barking. East Thames Group is developing 1,575 new homes, as well as educational, office, community, commercial and medical space, in partnership with the authority. Full planning permission was granted for the first phase in October 2014, and building work on 421 homes and a medical centre will start in spring 2015. Outline planning permission was granted for the rest of the scheme, which will see a further 1,154 one to fourbedroom homes built for rent, shared and private ownership. Councillor Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The Gascoigne estate is an important part of the council’s vision for growth. This is a significant step to realising our ambition to create homes and offer residents greater choice. “The estate, with its close proximity to Barking town centre, has an unrivalled opportunity to deliver a range of homes.” The project is scheduled to complete in 2024. Trevor Burns, East Thames’ executive director of development, sales and asset management, said: “The project will feature the high quality we are known for, with green spaces and community facilities for everybody.”

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Bold | View from the top

Growing bolder Councillor Darren Rodwell took the helm as Barking and Dagenham council leader in 2014 and he’s stepping up the pace of regeneration and inward investment – with £400 million of investment in the first six months, he shares his vision with BOLD editor, Siobhán Crozier

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ith a clutch of awards for successful regeneration schemes, it would be easy for Barking and Dagenham Council’s team to accept the accolades and coast along, pressing ahead with tried and trusted ways of building homes and creating jobs. But when Councillor Darren Rodwell (left) took over as leader of the council last June, the message went out that the pace of change would accelerate. The signals couldn’t be clearer: out went the cost-saving measure of sharing the chief executive’s role with Thurrock in neighbouring Essex. The incoming chief executive, Chris Naylor, former chief operating officer and director of finance in Barnet Council, takes up his post with a brief from his leader to review the council’s senior management structure in the context of significantly reduced budgets. Rodwell announced his appointment: “Our focus as a council continues to be to grow the borough by delivering homes and jobs as well as attract investment and business growth.” For those working to regenerate the borough, inside and outside the council, Rodwell’s message of step change is a welcome one, starting with quality homes and a sustainable community. Rodwell says it’s about awareness – of possibilities or ways to do things differently. “We have a vision of being a green capital of

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Bold | View from the top

Delivering new homes – the Abbey Road scheme by Bouygues Development.

the capital. Because funding from central government is becoming less, we have to find other ways of finding funds and we’re looking at ways of generating energy and making savings, which we will then be able to reinvest into the community.” He adds that the green agenda is paramount to give young people the understanding of a new environment for business: “Because actually, we had the dirty industries; we now want the clean industries.” Barking and Dagenham has some notable early successes with the London Sustainable Industries Park

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established and growing, as new occupiers take up space. Thinking about doing things differently is the start of effecting change but Rodwell can already point to tangible results in his first six months as leader: “It’s really good to say that in this period, we’ve had investment of over £400 million being promised – it’s not coming to us as a council – it’s coming to the people of this borough. It may be infrastructure, with a new train line, it may be housing stock or other businesses, but the fact is, it’s coming to Barking and Dagenham.”

Rodwell is good company, he talks passionately and affably – with genuine belief, not political speechifying – about cohesion, inclusion, aspiration and inspiration – but don’t be taken in by this relaxed demeanour. Rodwell is a seasoned campaigner and serious strategist, having cut his teeth at a time of vicious political division, as the British National Party (BNP) shook Barking and Dagenham’s communities, when 12 of its acolytes were elected as members of the council in 2006. As the second largest party, it formed the official opposition until 2010.


Bold | View from the top

“We’ve come from the ashes of the BNP only four years ago and to be where we are now, in that short time is just the start of a massive journey for the borough and the people in it,” Rodwell says. He believes that his political party – Labour – learned lessons from the experience of the BNP taking hold and then being routed; he is intensely aware of the importance of community cohesion and the need to remain in tune with the concerns and aspirations of residents in all areas and communities in Barking and Dagenham. “When we talk about sites, it isn’t just Barking town centre, or Barking Riverside, it’s Dagenham Village, it’s Chadwell Heath, it’s Marks Gate; it’s around the whole borough – we call them growth hubs but they’re aspiration zones,” he says. “You can have the grandest building but if people don’t feel they have ownership of it or understand it, then they won’t respect it and we need to encourage that social responsibility that gets them to understand why change needs to happen – if people are included, they’ll feel quite proud of the fact that it’s happening in Barking and Dagenham.” Rodwell says that he and his fellow councillors understand that mistakes were made in the past: “Our job is to make sure those mistakes won’t happen again and that we have longterm solutions, and that’s why we can only have good partners who share our vision. I do not want buildings that we’re going to knock down in 20 years’ time because they’re out of fashion. I want buildings that are sustainable, which people regard as good architecture.” There’s an obvious distinction between areas of different economic fortunes, as Rodwell sees it: “You always know when you’re in a posh place – it has old buildings, trees and

Regenerators David Harley, Jeremy Grint, Councillor Cameron Geddes and leader, Darren Rodwell.

“We have sustainable regeneration in a way that’s conducive to the community that we serve” it has greenery. You always know when you’re in a poor place; it has regeneration – continuous. We need to get to a place where we don’t have continuous regeneration; we have sustainable regeneration in a way that’s conducive to the community that we serve.” Rodwell believes it is essential to demonstrate to residents what it is possible to achieve: “Developments can be in housing or in business – not only do we have the largest amount of land for building homes; we also have the largest footprint of industrial space. We need all the elements – business investing,

with the community leading and the council facilitating. If we can get that right, it will be the recipe for a really aspirational and inspirational future.” One aspect of this is already in practice at the Broadway Theatre, leased by the council to Barking & Dagenham College, which will operate it with an improved community programme, benefiting from a partnership with the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Rodwell says: “We’re very serious about the Barbican coming to our theatre, that is a massive statement to say: Barking can become the cultural capital of east London – and I think this proposal is a significant achievement in helping us to shape it, and demonstrates what Barking and Dagenham has to offer the rest of London.” Last November the SOG Group purchased the former Sanofi site in Dagenham to create londoneast-uk. SOG owns and operates an awardwinning business and technical park, The Heath, in Runcorn, Cheshire – it is home to 170 businesses, employing around 2,000 people. SOG will run londoneast-uk as a sister park,

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Bold | View from the top

Dagenham Park School, the Broadway Theatre (right) and the Technical Skills Academy (below).

“Even at the furthest point of our borough, we will only be 20 minutes away from the centre of London. It’s quicker to get from here to City Hall, than it is from Richmond”

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fulfilling Sanofi’s stated legacy of retaining the site for employment and making use of its pharmaceutical laboratories, which would cost a fortune to equip from new. “We’re going to have a unique business park with labs and cleanroom space in London, at Dagenham East and that’s a massive achievement, because it could have just been knocked down and we could have built houses on it,” says Rodwell. “We saw the benefit of having a company like SOG – they’re already talking about how they can develop this further around the country – it’s great to be at the forefront, bringing good jobs to these research and manufacturing spaces.” Being able to find a decent job locally will also help to encourage a more stable population comprised of socially and economically mixed


Bold | View from the top

Oak to Barking line – we’ve managed to push that to the top of the agenda,” he says. “There’s a serious piece of work happening with TfL and the GLA on the A13 – how tunnelling could address traffic congestion, severe severance and pollution, and unlock development. Then we’re talking with communities. As Rodwell says, when east London partners, TfL and the mayor’s office about Crossrail 2. people are doing well in Barking and We’re having conversations with Dagenham, they tend to move on. C2C about the redevelopment of He is uncompromising in his view: Barking station, but also a new stop “We want to raise the aspirations in Dagenham East, which would be a of those who have been established here for generations, and attract new massive improvement for residents communities who want to live within a getting into London. Even at the furthest point of our borough, we stone’s throw of the City.” will only be 20 minutes away from For this reason, Rodwell sees no the centre of London. It’s quicker to excuse to dispose of land without a get from here to City Hall, than it is clear strategy capable of delivering from Richmond.” sustainable regeneration. “We Work is pressing ahead, with the don’t have to be snapping peoples’ council’s ongoing housing investment hands off – we can wait for the right programme of up to £100 million partners, who can tell us why they annually. Rodwell adds that the new want to invest,” he explains. housing is high quality and good Rodwell lists vital infrastructure value: “This isn’t about cheap housing developments, essential to accommodate the growing population – it’s high quality and very affordable for London. And there’s access to the and increasing number of local jobs. “Investment of £170 million for a train River Thames, which is a fantastic opportunity – for developers as well line is pretty successful – the Gospel

as residents, for business activity and for nature.” The area’s connectivity, with links to Europe and beyond, was one of the reasons why Ford chose Dagenham 100 years ago. “That’s why they chose us then and that’s why business would choose us today,” says Rodwell. “And that’s why investors should look at what tomorrow brings because we have the largest land mass for residential development and the largest industrial footprint in London, which has been sustainable over the last 100 years – and we want to make it ready for the 21st century.”

Bold and successful • Abbey Road • Technical Skills Academy • George Carey Church of England Primary School • Dagenham Park School • Broadway Theatre • londoneast-uk • Ice House Quarter • Barking Riverside • London Sustainable Industries Park

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Bold | Festivals

their backing. The response has been overwhelming. We could end up with more than double the number of events we currently have. This programme is about the community, the local authority and businesses working together. It’s sending a positive message to investors.” A prime example of collaboration between business and community is the Steam and Cider Fair, taking place at the end of May with car manufacturer, Ford, displaying the full range of its cars. Also exhibiting is The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME), a world-class Success is a cause for celebration – and in the research, business support, skills year when London boroughs turn 50, Barking and and education campus located on the in Rainham. “CEME is a great Dagenham is marking its own half-century with a A13 example of what this fair is about,” explains Rodwell. “It represents the series of special events. Maria Shahid reports next 25 years of the borough.” The borough is also hosting the arking and Dagenham has had more than its fair share of Barking Folk Festival in partnership celebrates its 50th problems, and that this programme with the Barbican in early July – anniversary in 2015, and represents a change of direction, the biggest free folk festival in the it’s using the opportunity designed to reignite civic pride. country, which will take place in the to launch a programme of festivals, “It’s about bringing cohesion in a reflecting its diverse community. borough that has suffered from a lack Ice House Quarter, the Town Square and the Abbey Ruins. The Bard of Councillor Darren Rodwell is the of cohesion. In the 21st century, the leader of the council, and the initiator council is a facilitator, and businesses Barking, Billy Bragg (above), has been confirmed as one of the acts, and is of the “One borough; one community” need to invest in our vision. helping to attract many other folk campaign. Rodwell makes no bones “We asked the community to give music names. about the fact that the borough its feedback and businesses to give

Come together

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Bold | Creative industries

Rocking the boat As Barking’s cluster of burgeoning creative industries becomes a reality, Lucy Purdy discovers how the area has became east London’s cultural hub 16


Bold | Creative industries

U ABOVE AND RIGHT: The creative community comes together at the launch of the Boathouse.

nfolding with graceful calm, a yoga class takes place in a studio at the Boathouse, the riverside arts venue at the heart of Barking’s emerging Ice House Quarter. Next door, photographers snap their way through a magazine shoot – makeup artists close by – and a fashion designer sketches her latest inspirations, while preparations buzz for the evening’s open mic night. Perched on the River Roding, the Boathouse is truly a home for creative entrepreneurs, and exudes energy and creative vitality from every brick. In 1865, the area was turned into a boatyard under local shipbuilder Joseph Honey but now it is helping to address a different need: a shortage of accommodation for the creative industries. On putting out the call, people have come, and the corner has fast become a focus for a diverse breadth of ambitious arts and cultural projects.

Carole Pluckrose, artistic director at the Boathouse CIC, has her theories as to why: “It’s very exciting for artists and creatives to be based here, whether they are working solo, as part of arts organisations or commercial businesses. “In my view, it’s the nature of the mixed economy that gives the quarter a regenerative quality. There are also two distinctly different types of studios in the Malthouse and the Granary. The former is a more affordable space, making it particularly attractive to smaller or startup creative organisations or individuals. “The other key factor is the natural collaborations emerging organically between the various artists and organisations. It engenders some really original and exciting projects. It’s like being part of a big organisation without any of the restrictions.” There is huge scope for more creative industries to join the growing

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Bold | Creative industries

collection of innovative artists, furniture makers, fashion designers, caterers, theatre companies and film makers already here. The aim is for the Ice House Quarter to be fully occupied by 2018. “We really want to bring back the performing arts activity here in the quarter,” notes Steve Drury, business development director at Rooff, owner of the Boathouse and Ice House Quarter. “The main purpose of the Boathouse is to increase engagement with the community, especially with arts and creative activities,” he continues. This has been taken forward with zeal. The Barking and Dagenham Creative People and Places programme, which is running until 2016, is raising arts participation, using four main strands. These include a commissioned programme of arts activities and events, along with a bursary programme to help local creatives. Meanwhile, arts group Up! Barking has already produced bold artwork on hoardings, engaging local young people in the designs, while the striking Pallet Pavilion project enlisted the creative input of local people to bring vibrancy and quirkiness to Barking. An injection of Creative People and Places Arts Council funding has brought more than £800,000 into the borough for arts projects that develop participation and engagement in the arts. Private investment has also been crucial. “Rooff own the building,” says Pluckrose of the Boathouse. “They have taken a long-term view, which is incredible in this day and age. It’s at the core of what makes all of this possible. This investment from a family-run business was the special ingredient.” And flexibility is key here too, with a range of spaces and affordability

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Bold | Creative industries

“The main purpose of the Boathouse is to increase engagement with the community, especially with arts and creative activities”

options, designed to suit everyone from startups to thriving commercial enterprises. Barking has one of the youngest populations in London and is one of the few boroughs set to grow exponentially over the next 10 years. It is both affordable and within 15 minutes’ reach of the City. “The two main studios are empty spaces, lending themselves to continual redefinition as they are used for different artistic activity, from exhibitions to performances, comedy, music, open mic and indeed to more commercial hiring,” says Pluckrose. “Most recently we had a Nigerian presidential conference. This again represents the synergy between the

OPPOSITE AND ABOVE: The Boathouse has attracted a wide variety of creatives including solo artists, arts organisations and businesses.

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Bold | Creative industries

commercial and the non-profit.” Multimedia production facility the Filim Company, works out of the Granary, a former Victorian granary warehouse. Filim was established in 2002, “when you still had to rewind your VHS tapes before returning them to Blockbuster”, according to the company’s website. Brothers Kayser and Kobir, from film and business backgrounds, realised there was a need for a professional production facility that could bridge the gap between the expensive Soho facilities and “your average domestic videographer”. The company is thriving in this environment and the brothers are pleased to be at the centre of the action as the cultural hub takes ever-more distinct shape. “As always, we’re here first!” they say. Their presence seems appropriate, given the area’s filmic quality. The river plays a central role in creating the unique atmosphere in the Ice House Quarter. Indeed, a small community of boat dwellers who work in the creative industries has developed in Barking. Historically, the area has been among one of the most deprived in London. But Pluckrose, for one, is “hugely optimistic” that it is possible to heal fractures between communities when they are brought together by a shared artistic and creative purpose. “I have seen a huge change in demographics and aspiration over the 30 years I have worked in the borough. I live here because the pulse of imagination is getting stronger by the year,” she enthuses. “I know that the arts often bring people together in unique ways, tapping into their inherent creativity, often much to their surprise.” And now in the Ice House Quarter, local people have an opportunity to realise their creative potential.

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“I have seen huge change in demographics and aspiration over the 30 years I have worked in the borough ... imagination is getting stronger”

TOP: The Ice House Quarter from across the River Roding. ABOVE: The Filim Company, at the centre of the action.


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Bold | Map

Development Map Projects in Barking and Dagenham 01 Ice House Quarter 02 londoneast-uk 03 Barking Riverside 04 London Sustainable Industries Park 05 Orion Park 06 William Street Quarter 07 Lymington Fields 08 Gascoigne estate 09 Barking Sporthouse 10 The Leys 11 Castle Green Place 12 Thames View East 13 Barking Enterprise Centre 14 Academy Central 15 Marks Gate 16 Beam Park 17 Capital Karts 18 Thames Gateway Park 19 Barking & Dagenham College 20 Golf Kingdom

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Bold | Projects

Projects

londoneast-uk business and technical park Regeneration specialist, SOG Group, purchased Sanofi’s former manufacturing plant in Dagenham in November 2014, and is now the owner of the 41,806sq m research and development buildings. The site ceased production in 2013, and as part of its award-winning legacy programme, Sanofi sought to create a multi-occupancy business and technical park. London mayor, Boris Johnson, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that SOG have taken up the torch at londoneast-uk, as it is going to be called. They will be creating a new destination for investment in life sciences, in pharmaceuticals, lengthening London’s lead as a world capital in these industries.” John Lewis, managing director of SOG Group, said: “It is vital that we

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work with the council, the Greater London Authority and all the other key stakeholders to market londoneastuk around the world, to attract inward investment from cutting-edge scientific businesses, who can access fantastic facilities right in the heart of the greatest capital city in the world.” George Freeman, parliamentary under secretary of state for life sciences also praised the initiative: “In Dagenham, what we are seeing is UK companies being helped to convert sites of yesterday into the sites of tomorrow. “This is a brilliant example – Sanofi working with SOG – pioneering a new way of rapidly converting a site of 20th century big pharma research into an innovator, a catalyst, an incubator for the small companies of tomorrow. Companies that couldn’t afford

world-class facilities on their own, at this site will be able to access worldclass facilities to do their research.” Council leader, Darren Rodwell, added: “We are proud to have SOG as a partner in the project. We want to work with SOG and we will give incentives to national and international companies to come here and start producing world-renowned medicines or sciences that will actually take the borough brand out into the global market.” The scientific buildings are part of a 43.7-ha site owned by Sanofi. Four hectares have been sold to Sainsbury’s for a supermarket development and 0.4ha for a family pub and restaurant. There is also planning permission for warehousing and manufacturing units, a hotel, and a medical centre.


Bold | Projects

Beam Park Beam Park straddles the borough of Barking and Dagenham and neighbouring Havering, and has been unused since Ford ceased operations in 2002. It extends over 29ha, with links to central London via the A13 and rail stations at Dagenham Dock and Rainham. It is one of the largest brownfield sites in the capital. The Greater London Authority (GLA), which owns the site, is working with the two boroughs to bring forward proposals that will create thousands of homes and hundreds of jobs. The Beam Park site is within London Riverside, which extends to 2,500ha, and is the second largest opportunity area in London. The alteration to the London Plan (published in January 2014) identified that London Riverside has capacity for 16,000 jobs, and 26,500 homes. Site investigation is under way and the GLA is working with the boroughs to start a procurement exercise for a development partner in spring 2015. The site offers scope for a residential-led, mixed-use scheme with the Beam River running through it. The GLA’s Housing Investment Group decided in July 2014 that the investment objectives of the site were to contribute to meeting London’s housing needs by enabling development of circa 3,000 high-quality and well-designed mixed tenure homes. Employment estimates suggest that up to 6,000 indirect and 147 direct jobs could be created. Beam Park would also create social and educational infrastructure and require improved public transport with links to Dagenham Dock station by 2018, and a rail station at Beam Park by 2020. Barking and Dagenham Council is carrying out design and feasibility work for a key road junction. Meanwhile, Havering is progressing plans for a Beam Park station on the eastern part of the site, and in 2014 gave the green light to Network Rail to carry out design work. The station is supported by the London mayor, and will sit alongside the existing Dagenham Dock station to the west of the site.

Barking Riverside The 179.3-ha Barking Riverside scheme is one of the largest housing developments in Europe. Sitting along 2km of River Thames frontage, the site has planning permission for up to 10,800 homes, as well as healthcare, shopping, community and leisure facilities. Transport for London (TfL) is proposing a 4km extension of the London Overground Gospel Oak to Barking line to Barking Riverside. The service would operate from Barking along the existing Essex Thameside Tilbury line, then via a new section of railway, which will head south. The route would end at Barking Riverside, where a new station would be built. TfL held an initial consultation on the planned extension of the Gospel Oak line, which ended on 19 October 2014. A further round of consultation will be held in spring 2015. In late September senior councillors at Barking and Dagenham gave their backing to the proposed extension at a cabinet meeting. The cost is circa £200 million, and the funding gap sat at £55 million. The chancellor’s autumn statement in early December confirmed the government “will agree a principal heads of terms agreement for a loan of £55 million to support the extension”, signalling the go-ahead. The scheme also has the backing of the London mayor and the Greater London Authority. Preparatory works on-site could begin as early as summer 2015, with a train service up and running by 2019/2020.

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Bold | Projects

Residential An improved residential offer is intrinsic to the regeneration of Barking and Dagenham

Gascoigne estate renewal The transformation of the Gascoigne estate in Barking town centre is under way. The scheme, which has been designed by architects Levitt Bernstein and Allies & Morrison, was granted planning permission in October 2014 and will see another 1,579 homes being developed. It is expected to complete in 2024, and will transform the eastern side of the estate as well as having a major impact on the town centre.

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Following the demolition of four tower blocks and four low-rise blocks, phase one is due to start in early 2015, and includes the building of 421 homes as well as a medical centre, gardens and a public square. Barking and Dagenham jointly submitted the planning application for the scheme last year with development partner, East Thames. The site also includes a 690-place primary school, a 1,850-place

secondary school, a community centre, retail and office space, and various green spaces and play areas for children. In phase two, a further 934 homes will be demolished and replaced with new homes. Some of the funding for this project has been provided by the mayor of London’s housing covenant programme, which provides homes for working Londoners.


Bold | Projects

Castle Green Place

Lymington Fields The ÂŁ78.4 million Lymington Fields scheme near Chadwell Heath in Dagenham is located on an 8.7-ha site, and is one of the first to be released by the London mayor as part of his drive to unlock development on public sector-owned land. The Pollard Thomas Edwardsdesigned scheme is expected to provide 413 new homes for Londoners by 2019 in partnership with developer Lovell and affordable housing provider Home Group. Building work on the scheme began in January 2014, and it will create 252 homes for private sale and 161 affordable homes. The first residents were set to move in before Christmas 2014. The second phase received a resolution to grant planning permission in July 2014, and work is due to start in January 2015. All homes at Lymington Fields will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The towers of the former Goresbrook Village estate in Dagenham have been replaced by 149 new houses and apartments, now known as Castle Green Place. Developer, Countryside, said that sales were extremely strong, and all homes for private sale have now been sold and are occupied. Sixty-five per cent of the new homes will be wholly owned and managed by the council, and these will all be handed over by the end of March 2015. The Stitch-designed scheme has been developed along a street pattern and will consist of one and two-bedroom apartments; and three, four and five-bedroom houses with landscaping. The development is designed to integrate with its surroundings, with home zone streets to create a pedestrian-friendly public realm.

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At East Thames we’re firmly focused on housing and regeneration in east London and Essex. East Thames. Making a positive and lasting contribution to the neighbourhoods in which we work.

www.east-thames.co.uk

THAMES


We are dedicated to supporting the regeneration of East London and Essex, which is why we’re proud to be working with the London Borough of Barking

and Dagenham and the local community on the regeneration of the Gascoigne Estate to deliver: • Over 1,500 state-of-the-art new homes with capacity to house over 5,500 people • A medical centre • Two schools • A community centre • Retail and office spaces • Green spaces, including a public square • Children’s play areas. 1725

This was the case when we started as a small housing association in 1979, and that commitment hasn’t changed. We firmly believe that good quality housing is a key ingredient in building balanced and sustainable communities.


Bold | Commercial space

Spaced out With excellent connections by road, rail and sea to the rest of the UK, Europe and the world, as well as a young and growing workforce, Barking and Dagenham provides the perfect location to do business. Kirsty MacAulay reports 30


Bold | Commercial space

Dagenham Dock (left) and the London Gateway Port.

“The area has good accessibility and lots of logistics companies are realising that” The A13, a major artery running all the way from central London to south Essex cuts right through the borough, offering excellent connections to London and the coast as well as links to the M25, the North Circular Road, the Channel Tunnel, Dover and the newly opened London Gateway Port; perfect for exports. As David Harley, group manager, economic development and sustainable communities at Barking and Dagenham Council, acknowledges: “The London Gateway Port has really focused people’s attention on the area.” The deep-water port was built here is a reason the Channel specifically to accommodate larger vessels, as the trend in shipping 4 programme Location, moves towards bigger cargo ships. Location, Location has been The water in the port is deep enough on our screens for over a to allow the world’s biggest ships to decade – location is king. Indeed, dock here; which all ensures that the the right location can be the key to UK is a viable option for the world’s success in many strands of life and none more so than in business. Which shipping industry. In short, Barking and Dagenham is why Barking and Dagenham is offers the ideal place for companies welcoming more companies seeking to get their goods from the warehouse the perfect base for their operations.

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to the customer as quickly as possible – a point well illustrated by the crop of warehouse facilities that are appearing along the A13. Harley explains: “The area has good accessibility and lots of logistics companies are realising that; we’re seeing a lot of increased interest. Barking and Dagenham is becoming known as a good location for Londonserving industries.” The range of new parks, offering units for commercial or warehouse use, that are being developed along the A13 suggest that this is most definitely the case. Orion Park offers units designed and built to requirement. Established in 2013 with the sale of a 5,574sq m unit to Kuehne + Nagel, a further 5,574sq m letting was agreed to GeoPost in August 2014 – the unit should be complete by the middle of 2015. There is plenty of room for more units, a further two hectares is yet to be developed. Capita, joint agents for Orion Park, highlight the importance of the location, location, location mantra

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Bold | Commercial space

claiming: “This area is of particular interest to occupiers because of the distribution links into east and central London. Location is the primary driver, although competitive rents are also offered.” Nearby, next to Dagenham Dock rail station, Standard Life and Ravenbourne’s Thames Gateway Park (right) is in the process of expanding. Phase three will be complete in spring 2015. The first speculative development in the borough for a while, it will comprise nine units, ranging from 892sq m to 6,317sq m. The previous two phases, covering a total of 37,465sq m, are all fully let; occupiers include Bunzl, SPX Rail Systems and Loomis. There is space on-site for further development. “Phase three is going really well,” commented Ravenbourne’s managing director, Michel Henri. “The site is halfway between the M25 and the City, making it an ideal location”. Eddie Stobart recently acquired an existing warehouse facility (Goresbrook Park, pictured top) just off the A13 in Dagenham. The 11-ha site currently has 45,266sq m of warehouse space, including a cold store. Two of the warehouses on the site are over 9,290sq m, and are the only warehouses of this size to be immediately available in the area. Voltaic, Gazeley’s award-

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winning sustainable facility at Dagenham Dock boasts a variety of environmentally friendly measures to reduce energy and water consumption, and lower operational costs. The 21,643sq m unit, currently occupied by Howard Tenens, was constructed using sustainable timber and recycled materials, and has solar panels, skylights to increase natural light, a ground source heat pump, as well as offering rainwater harvesting. Londoneast-uk is a new business and technical park with 41,806sq m of space to let on a 6.9-hectare site close to Dagenham East underground station. Previously owned by pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, the facilities offer cleanroom technology as well as office space, laboratories and room for events and conferences. Units are available to let

immediately or for bespoke redesign managed by SOG. London mayor Boris Johnson commented: “I am absolutely thrilled that SOG have taken up the torch at londoneast … lengthening London’s lead as a world capital in these industries.” His hopes are reflected in Barking & Dagenham College’s drive to encourage local young people to get engaged in science and engineering by promoting the jobs readily available in this field. But immediate access to the A13 is not the sum total of the borough’s attractions. As Harley points out: “The population growth, catchment area and availability of sites make Barking and Dagenham a good place for business. The former, in particular, means we have a growing workforce and customer base.”


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Bold | Barking town centre

Going into overdrive The regeneration of Barking’s award-winning town centre continues apace, with proposals for a world-class health and social care innovation centre, a burgeoning cultural hub and a bid to become one of London’s first housing zones. Lucy Purdy meets those leading the transformation 35


Bold | Barking town centre

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avid Harley, economic development manager in Barking and Dagenham, says: “We have had over a decade of investment in new town centre facilities but there is much more to come.” No forced optimism or positive spin here: Barking already boasts an award-winning town centre, which is changing fast. “Renewal has the upper hand,” commented the Evening Standard in its “Spotlight on Barking” back in August 2014, reporting on the wave of housing development in the area. The media’s interest was further piqued when London mayor Boris Johnson chose Barking Riverside as the place to unveil his 50-year London Infrastructure Plan. Barking has become an emblem for redevelopment in London. Supremely accessible – a 15-minute dash from Fenchurch Street and located near to the connection-rich North Circular Road – the town centre also offers great value land and premises. Population growth and a vibrant blend of cultural diversity have created fresh opportunities for markets here, and potential for sales growth in the retail and leisure sectors too. The buzz around Barking town centre is reflected in a raft of new schemes, which plot a prosperous way forward over the next five years. They are detailed in the council’s new Barking Town Centre Strategy, and, together, are an exciting, diverse mix, as Harley explains: “We’ve made huge leaps through schemes such as Barking Central and the Technical Skills Academy. Also in terms of place-making, we have some high quality public realm, landscaping and architecture.” “Now, we’re looking at strategy, including the potential for new housing which we see as a way of helping support the town centre in

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the form of more customers and increased footfall. We realise we’re not going to be able to compete with Stratford, which is 10 minutes away, in terms of retail, so we’re focusing on the leisure and evening economies and also on engaging the brilliantly diverse and vibrant community here.” If development in Barking town centre is a music festival, then there are some heavy-hitting headliners jostling for top billing.

There’s Care City, the world-class health and social care innovation centre; a partnership between Barking and Dagenham Council and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust. The centre is set to address a national gap for a health and social care ‘eco-system’ in which health and social care professionals, policy makers, technology experts and businesses will come together to collaborate and innovate.

If development in Barking town centre is a music festival, then there are some heavy-hitting headliners

Bathhouse Barking; the Technical Skills Academy (above), and the Abbey Retail Park (right).


Bold | Barking town centre

“This will be a superb innovation facility,” confirms Harley. “It will bring many more people to the town centre and include conference facilities. It will really speed us along in attracting a growing sector of the economy.” Steve Feast is the executive medical director of the North East London NHS Foundation Trust. He explains that employment, and equipping those employees with skills, is an important focus for Care City, and describes the facility as a dynamic “skills escalator”. “We will help prepare people for work and get them enrolled in all sorts of training programmes. It will also be an IT incubator site and a centre for research and development. There is a drive for more SMEs to be working with healthcare providers and developing products, and the sorts of people in those businesses will bring new skills right to the centre of Barking, giving a different feel and energy to the town centre. “We envisage lots of new relationships being established

between the health and social care sector, education, training, R&D and ICT organisations, and this will act as a magnet and a multiplier for others. Obviously, the centre also has huge, positive public health implications. It’s a project that we are incredibly excited about.” Then there’s housing. Barking is among those bidding to become one of London’s first housing zones, and getting a slice of the £400 million programme, jointly funded by the mayor of London and central government. “We’re doing it because Barking has such potential for new housing,” says Harley. “There’s scope for about 4,000 new homes, particularly around the town centre. Barking is so accessible and people are recognising that potential. New, high quality homes will provide extra footfall and help in the development of a good evening economy.” A decision on housing zones is expected in early 2015. And it goes without saying that Barking Riverside is central

to the changing landscape. The development will, over the next 10-15 years, house around 30,000 residents. And council planners know it is critical that these new residents see Barking as a desirable destination, something which will be considerably boosted by a direct rail link, Harley points out. The retail and leisure landscapes are also being given due consideration. “Barking Market is key,” says Harley. “It has a value offer, clearly, and we hope in time this will ratchet up, which will attract more people to the town centre. And we want to make Barking east London’s cultural hub. The Ice House Quarter is a fantastic converted old granary building, which is really becoming a hub for creative industries. The Barbican and Guildhall are working on the Broadway Theatre, which would involve a local college and performing arts students. We’re trying to get a new cinema in the town centre too, and find a permanent home

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Bold | Barking town centre

A hub for creative industries at the Ice House Quarter (left) and Bouygues Development’s London Road scheme (right).

for Bathhouse Barking, which was originally a pop-up.” Bouygues Development’s London Road scheme is progressing well towards completion in 2015, including the second phase of Short Blue Place, which is a public space reflecting Barking’s fishing heritage. It will include an Asda supermarket with a sales floor of 3,716sq m, some 1,393.5sq m larger than their existing unit, which it is hoped will act as a catalyst to improving the wider retail offering. Ancillary retail units will provide modern space for small or startup businesses. Many of the apartments are now completed and Bouygues Development’s partner, Grainger, is fine-tuning the launch campaign to market 100 high-quality new homes to the rental market. The development was shortlisted in the PRS Project of the Year category at the MIPIM UK Awards in October. Already, extensive highway works on London Road and North Street have been undertaken to improve the carriageway, pavement and street lighting. The scheme will provide a new focal point for Barking’s “rapidlyevolving town centre”, according to

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“There’s scope for about 4,000 new homes, particularly around the town centre. Barking is so accessible and people are recognising that potential” Nicolas Guerin, managing director of Bouygues Development. “With much-needed homes for rental, retail units and a supermarket, as well as a public square and improvements to the roads around the project, the development will offer significant benefits to the community and will be a step forward in the regeneration of the area,” Guerin adds. And Estates & Agency have been given the go-ahead from the council and mayor of London for the redevelopment of the Abbey Retail Park: a key gateway to the town centre. The scheme will provide a 9,544sq m Sainsbury’s superstore, generating up to 450 new full and part-time jobs. It will also create a riverside walkway, public open space and a unique ‘history wall’ to reflect Barking’s rich heritage. The scheme has now been

referred to the secretary of state for communities and local government with an ambition to start the construction of the new Sainsbury’s store in late 2015 or early 2016. John Rosefield, director at Estates & Agency Properties, says: “I am delighted with Barking and Dagenham Council’s decision to unanimously approve our application. The decision caps off two years of extensive consultation with the council and the local community.” “Estates & Agency has a strong track record of successful involvement in the borough, and we are pleased that our continued investment can help boost the ongoing regeneration of Barking.” Collaborative, innovative and headline-grabbing schemes like this speak of the sense of positivity in Barking town centre at the moment: bold and dynamic, it’s ready to go.


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Bold | Skills for employment

Skill-set and match Apprenticeships, vocational training, skills for entrepreneurship and more – students of all ages need a toolkit of transferable skills, which Paul Coleman finds they can acquire at Barking & Dagenham College 40


Bold | Skills for employment

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bbey Dell was the only woman ‘on the tools’, when she joined Roseville (Projects), a company with some 100 decorators. Dell has worked on several hi-spec City projects. “The college gave me the knowledge to know what to do onsite and I feel confident,” says Dell. Equipped by Barking & Dagenham College with a Diploma in Painting and Decorating Level 2, Dell started an apprenticeship with Roseville. “We’re really pleased with the way that Abbey has conducted herself on-site,” says Roseville project manager Mark Ravenhill – whose comments typify employers who enjoy a beneficial working relationship with the college. Principal and CEO, Cathy Walsh OBE, heads a team developing training provision for work that has changed radically – and continues to do so. Since arriving in 2008, Walsh has set about transforming the college, inside and out. Redevelopment of the 11.5-ha main campus at Rush Green saw an investment of £875,000, to create a new frontage, the gateway to a transformed learning environment for the 12,500 students, of whom around 3,500 are aged 16-18.

Redevelopment continues at the main campus and specialist sites. In Barking town centre, the Technical Skills Academy was delivered with £8 million of investment by Barking and Dagenham Council. The college has managed the Academy since it opened in September 2012 and in its third year, trained more than 400 students. The purposebuilt environment resembles real workplaces and offers technical training for 16-18s. Two restaurants and two salons operate commercially and are open to the public, so students gain real work experience. Walsh says: “The college sets out to make sure people are provided with transferable skills. London employers tell us they want a range of skills, often underpinned by a knowledge of new technology. “In my generation, we might have eight or nine jobs. Younger people now will need transferable skills they can carry through to up to 30 jobs during their working lives.” Securing apprenticeships is at the heart of the college’s success in facilitating students on their route to becoming employees – 860 are trained every year, including 110 higher level apprentices; it is one of the largest providers in London.

The Motor Vehicle and Motorsport Training Centre, in the heart of east London’s auto industries.

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Bold | Skills for employment

Nick Cave, by kind permission of Kevin Westenberg. “By listening to the needs of the employer, the college can tailor its offer,” says Walsh, citing the example of the new e-learning delivery model for the higher level apprenticeship in project management. “Flexible online study options, blended with face-toface seminars and workshops, give apprentices the choice to learn when and where they choose. And the employer is happy because valuable personnel are not away from their desks attending class.” Some students find other routes to gain the skills for a chosen career. With GCSEs of 10 A-grades plus an A*, Perry Torrance could have taken a path via A-levels into university – but instead, he followed his own interests. Aged 18, Torrance

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“Students were keen to absorb the insights of Kevin Westenberg, the American photographer of such music icons as Nirvana, the Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave”

arrived at the college in 2013 to train as a chef. “I was expected to go to my local sixth form but they didn’t have the course I wanted,” he says. “A-levels are not always the way to get the job you want.” Instead, Torrance now balances his full-time City & Guilds diploma in professional cookery studies with two jobs – one at classic British restaurant, Bird of Smithfield, and another at Tasty Affairs Catering. Torrance receives fulsome praise from Bird of Smithfield founder, Alan Bird, a former top chef at The Ivy: “Perry has great discipline and talent for someone so young. He has the ability to block out all the kitchen banter and focus on the task in hand.” Walsh is a prominent member of


Bold | Skills for employment

the Gazelle group of colleges, which leads initiatives at the interface between education and business. Addressing the shortage of people with suitable skills in science, technology, engineering and maths, known as STEM subjects, is a Gazelle priority. At Barking & Dagenham College, the Gazelle Centre, opened by Carol Vorderman MBE, is a purpose-built, creative space which can cater for 30 students at one time, aiming to revolutionise the teaching and learning of STEM subjects. Students engage through topics such as crime scene investigation, based on the hit TV show, CSI. The college’s Motor Vehicle and Motorsport Training Centre at London Road is based in the heart of east London’s auto industries. It provides students and tutors with an industrystandard workshop that includes the best mechanic tools and a wide range of vehicles to work on. Courses offer study in theatre management and stage production, as well as performance skills at the Broadway Theatre. Walsh has seen the college expand its offering with initiatives such as digital communications hub, iCreate@ BDC, which equips students with the skills to thrive in the field of creative digital media. They share the facility with tech startups – so students and

people running new enterprises can share skills and ideas. Walsh says: “iCreate@BDC will help micro businesses to grow, talent to upskill, and help new talent to find the right pathways into work.” One-to-one business mentoring and masterclasses with industry experts are provided. Walsh says: “Students were keen to absorb the insights of Kevin Westenberg, the American photographer of such music icons as Nirvana, the Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave, as well as the film director, David Lynch.” A partnership with global leader in training for the network infrastructure and data centre industries – CNet Training – has resulted in the national training hub being established at the main campus. Electrical students

and tutors will be cross-trained in the latest technologies. In early 2015, Lord Baker launched the Siemens Mechatronics Academy, where engineering students will develop their skills from tutors trained at the Siemens Technik Akademie in Berlin. “We are now talking about STEAM, rather than STEM – science, technology, engineering, arts and maths,” says Walsh “We must offer training that gives students a clear line of sight to financial independence, whether they take a job or create their own employment.” Whatever pathway they choose, students coming out of Barking & Dagenham College are tooled up with the skills for their chosen career – and like Dell and Torrance, ready to make their own success stories.

Focused – Perry Torrance at Bird of Smithfield.

Learning to fly At a time when many councils have dropped adult education, Barking and Dagenham Council’s track record of providing adults with new learning opportunities has been sustained for over 30 years. The Adult College at Ripple Road offers innovative programmes to around 4,000 learners, who can enrol on free Skills for Life training – literacy, numeracy, language, employability – and other low cost courses. These programmes help adults without qualifications to gain a foothold on the ladder

to employment via nationally recognised qualifications. Through Adult College courses, thousands of learners have gained new skills, improved their job prospects and been able to become more ambitious for their future. Some courses offer apprenticeships, which are not exclusively an option for younger learners. And, there’s always room for people who simply want to learn new skills, from cake decoration and sugarcraft to digital media, and from painting and decorating to English and maths.

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Find out why Barking and Dagenham is London’s Growth Opportunity at www.lbbd.gov.uk/londonsgrowthopportunity Jeremy Grint Divisional Director of Regeneration and Economic Development Jeremy.grint@lbbd.gov.uk 020 8227 2443

David Harley Group Manager Economic Development and Sustainable Communities David.harley@lbbd.gov.uk 020 8227 5316

Daniel Pope Group Manager Development Planning Daniel.pope@lbbd.gov.uk 020 8227 3929

www.boldanddynamic.co.uk

www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk


Bold | Sport and leisure

From go-karting to golf, James Wood explores a borough that has invested in new standards for sporting and leisure facilities, making fitness fun and encouraging residents to opt for a healthier lifestyle

sports illustrated

The pool at Becontree Heath Leisure Centre, opened in 2011.

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hose living or working in an area with one of the biggest leisure attractions in the UK might be inspired to get out and get active. In a London borough that boasts the largest sports hall, go-kart track and adventure

golf course, as well as the busiest swimming pool in the country and a newly opened leisure centre with a luxury thermal spa, there’s barely any excuse to stay indoors. Barking and Dagenham’s impressive list of leisure attractions has never been so long.

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Bold | Sport and leisure

A whale of a time According to local legend, a whale washed up in the River Thames near Dagenham in 1790. Close to this supposed spot is a pub called The Moby Dick – the namesake of the 19th century novel by Herman Melville, in which Captain Ahab seeks revenge on a sperm whale that destroyed his ship and severed his leg at the knee. Inspiration from this has now been taken up in sporting themes. In May 2014, Golf Kingdom opened the Moby Adventure Golf Course opposite the pub at the Cranfield Golf Centre, where a driving range has existed for 30 years and a par three golf course for 10. The venue also hosts the hybrid game, foot golf, which involves kicking a football into a wider hole. Plans for the Moby Dick development were set into motion in 2009. Director, Scott Cranfield, says: “There are advantages to building a leisure attraction of this kind in the borough; we have a vast amount of green space which needs upgrading. We had a great summer in 2014, and have received excellent feedback in Barking.” Putting holes are in locations such as a whale’s mouth, on a whaling boat inspired by Captain Ahab’s ship, and from a cave. The course is now attracting attention from further afield, as Cranfield explains: “People are coming from places like Southend. Barking and Dagenham benefits from great transport links, with trains to London, so people can access the site easily.” An investment of £750,000 was needed to build Moby Adventure Golf Course. With 30,000 visitors expected by its first anniversary, the venture is looking worthwhile.

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Bold | Sport and leisure

Kart blanche Few places offer the go-karting thrill of racing at speeds of up to 45mph, but in November 2013 a track opened in Barking where such a feat is possible, using top-of-therange go-karts. The Capital Karts indoor circuit, the UK’s longest, spans 1,050 metres, three times the length of a standard track – and covers a surface bigger than that of Wembley Stadium. The karts used at Capital Karts are designed by RiMO, which, according to aficionados of the pursuit, cannot be beaten for speed and style. Praise is reserved for their powerful Honda engines and slick design, and it is testament to their worth that they are also deployed at the globally acclaimed Michael and Ralph Schumacher tracks in Germany. Karts of such a high standard need a high quality track to match, and Capital Karts fits the bill. The course features 80-metre straights with an average width of eight

metres, allowing opportunities to overtake, as up to 25 karts per race do battle. Pricing starts at £25 per person for a 20 minute session and £15 for a further 20 minutes. The venue caters for corporate parties, stags and hens, and school and charity events – all reasons why the attraction has become one of the most popular leisure facilities in the borough, with 3,500 visitors every month. Matt Holyfield, managing director at Capital Karts, is proud of his venue: “People say this is the best indoor track they have ever been to and how great the karts are to drive. “We make sure the karts are well maintained, clean and safe, that the staff are professional, helpful and welcoming and that the venue is inclusive regardless of ability. “Capital Karts is available for everyone. Londoners make up a sizeable percentage of our customer base, but we have had customers from all over the world.”

LEFT: Golf Kingdom’s Moby Adventure Golf Course. ABOVE: The indoor circuit at Capital Karts is the longest in the UK.

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Bold | Sport and leisure

Health addict Barking and Dagenham Council has introduced measures to offer its residents the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle. By rationalising its leisure facilities, the local authority has funded two new leisure centres and increased the number of annual visitors from 800,000 to 1.2 million. This is before footfall figures for the latest leisure development in the borough are even released. Those who consider crazy golf and go-karting to be far from relaxing might be more attracted by Barking’s new Abbey Leisure Centre – a £14 million facility developed by Willmott Dixon and funded by the council. The centre opened at the beginning of 2015, and includes a 93sq m thermal spa, a sauna, aromatherapy and steam crystal rooms, a salt inhalation room and a hydrotherapy pool. Visitors can enjoy treatments such as massages and manicures. The centre additionally offers a 140-station gym, three exercise studios, a 25x12.5 metre swimming pool, and a soft play area for children. The council is aiming to attract between 40,000 and 45,000 visitors a year, doubling the number of people who used the previous sports centre.

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TOP: The new £14 million Abbey Leisure Centre. ABOVE: Becontree Heath Leisure Centre offers members fitness suites and studio classes.

Chris Tredget, managing director of Willmott Dixon, says: “We have constructed many leisure centres and I am amazed at what a catalyst they are for bringing people together. “Barking and Dagenham is a diverse community and has excellent communication links. The centre will just add to the reasons that it is an up-and-coming borough.” Abbey Leisure Centre is the second to be built in Barking and Dagenham in three years. Becontree Heath Leisure Centre in Dagenham opened in 2011, and was voted the UK’s busiest pool in a recent survey by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). The centre was also used as a training venue during the 2012 Olympic games. Becontree Heath is open all week and received 410,000 visits between 2013 and 2014, one of the reasons the

ASA named the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham a finalist in its Leisure Facility Operator of the Year awards 2014. The centre offers swim sessions, with 4,100 juniors and adults on programmes. Other initiatives include senior residents being able to access the borough’s leisure centres for free during a year-long project funded by the social enterprise, Active for Life. The initiative, which currently has 4,254 active members, allows older residents to make use of swimming pools, fitness suites, studio classes and take part in racket activities. Barking and Dagenham is proving attractive to both residents and visitors in search of sport and healthy living. It bodes well not only for those making use of the facilities, but for leisure employment and investment opportunities.


BOLD partners joining together to support Barking and Dagenham 01

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01 c2c, Chris Atkinson chris.atkinson@nationalexpress.com 02 Golf Kingdom, Scott Cranfield, scott@carzo.net 03 GVA, John Jones, john.jones@gva.co.uk 04 Iceni Projects, Ian Anderson ianderson@iceniprojects.com 05 Living Streets, Amy Anye amy.anye@livingstreets.org.uk 06 Rooff, Steve Drury, sdrury@rooff.co.uk 07 Sitematch London, Shelley Cook shelley@3foxinternational.com 08 Willmott Dixon, Chris Tredget, chris.tredget@willmottdixon.co.uk

For more information about these companies, visit boldmagazine.co.uk


Bold | Markets

Facts and figures £55 million: government loan provided to support the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside

Travel times from Barking by public transport:

Stratford: 20 minutes  |  The O2: 18 minutes  |  Westminster: 40 minutes    St Pancras: 40 minutes  |  Heathrow: 75 minutes   Fenchurch Street: 15 minutes  |  Canary Wharf: 20 minutes

Becontree Heath Leisure Centre in Dagenham deemed busiest swimming pool in the country in a recent survey by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA)

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Bold | Markets

ÂŁ272,270: average price of a semi-detached house

30,000 residents to be housed at the Barking Riverside development over the next 10-15 years

(December 2014 Land Registry data)

2.4% increase in the population under the age of four since 2001 (Source: 2011 Census)

31% of the population is under the age of 19 – the highest in the UK

Total population: 194,400 (Source: nomisweb, 2013)

One of the most attractive London boroughs for small businesses (placed second in a Federation of Small Business Index, October 2014)

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www.barkingriverside.co.uk

www.london.gov.uk


YOUR ST YLE. YOUR C HOIC E. Y O U R C I T Y E A S T. From its striking looks to a location offering relaxation along the river and within easy reach of the capital, City East is refreshingly different. Barking Riverside is a unique opportunity comprising of a new mixed use community of up to 10,800 dwellings, new schools, retail and leisure uses, together with major transport infrastructure, sited on 2km of frontage to the River Thames. Development commenced in 2011 and so far 700 dwellings are complete or under construction, with further commitments on 400 - 500 dwellings. A number of investment/development sites will be available in the near future and therefore now is the time to be talking to us about how you can be involved in one of the fastest selling residential sites in the UK. For an informal discussion please contact Richard Burrows, Managing Director, Bellway Homes Ltd (Essex Division), tel: 01245 259989 or Matthew Carpen, Senior Area Manager, Greater London Authority, tel: 020 7983 4272, for more information.

www.bellway.co.uk


Bold | Sitematch

Sitematch: viewpoint Jeremy Grint, divisional director regeneration and economic development at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, discusses the speeddating style event with Sitematch research manager, Huub Nieuwstadt town centre, London Sustainable Industries Park, Beam Park and londoneast-uk) through to smaller and medium-sized developments in a borough with a growing population.

LSIP’s infrastructure was planned to ensure that businesses could exchange resources.

Why does Barking and Dagenham participate in Sitematch – what does the council get out of it? Sitematch is an opportunity for the council to speak to people from the development sector in an intense but productive day. The short meetings focus both sides on quickly identifying opportunities – of which there are a wide range in Barking and Dagenham. It’s a chance to highlight these to people who may not have had the borough on their radar. We find it an informative event – sharing information and ideas.

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What are the key opportunities that developers should be keeping their eye on? People are starting to recognise Barking and Dagenham’s superb accessibility and that, as ‘London’s growth opportunity’, there is significant scope for new housing and employment growth. The council is keen to continue to work with the private sector in a variety of ways. Our regeneration track record is growing and there are opportunities ranging from the borough’s five key growth hubs (Barking Riverside, Barking

Are you looking to attract any specific development types to the borough? Barking and Dagenham offers opportunities across the spectrum, including significant housing potential. We also have a lot of industrial land with redevelopment potential. The London Sustainable Industries Park offers specific opportunities for green industries while londoneast-uk provides superb science facilities and accommodation for a wide range of businesses. With the scale of housing and population growth, there are also opportunities for retail, catering and leisure facilities. We’d welcome discussion with operators on broadening the borough’s offer in this area, alongside the delivery of housing.

Sitematch London is a property event enabling public sector landowners to engage with private sector developers, investors and occupiers in short 15 minute meetings. For more information visit sitematchlondon.com or contact Sophie Gosling on 020 7978 6840.


A NEW GENERATION OF REGENERATION

Long Harbour’s regeneration fund aims to invest alongside local authorities to build affordable homes and associated infrastructure. Our first transaction was at William Street Quarter and Thames View East where 477 units are being delivered on time and on budget in partnership with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. We are immensely proud that this scheme has won the Partnership’s Bulletin Award for ‘Best Alternative Deal Structure’ and recognition from the Municipal Journal for ‘Innovation in Finance’

Long Harbour manages funds with a focus on long dated, fixed income returns. In the residential sector we focus on the following: - A social infrastructure fund, committed to financing local authority-led housing initiatives; - A Private Rented Sector fund, which has acquired over £50m of residential units during 2013; - A portfolio of nearly 60,000 UK residential freeholds, managed by HomeGround, a Long Harbour company.

For more information, please contact Oliver Nicoll on: +44 (0)207 723 8881 on@longharbour.co.uk www.longharbour.co.uk


Swan is committed to growing its development programme in Barking working in partnership with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to deliver schemes of the highest design quality

Swan Housing Group is a dynamic housing association committed to delivering high quality regeneration projects throughout East London and Essex. • Embracing innovation and providing solutions • Sustainable developments and awareness • Making positive changes for communities • Delivering high quality homes throughout the Thames Gateway

Innovative homes designed for tomorrow’s lifestyles and technologies Visit swan.org.uk for further information or contact the development team on 0800 819 9390 to discuss partnership opportunities that can make a difference. Image shown is computer generated and subject to change.

BOLD #4  

BOLD magazine publicises the work of regeneration organisations in Barking & Dagenham.

BOLD #4  

BOLD magazine publicises the work of regeneration organisations in Barking & Dagenham.