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Brighter living Community building: Thousands of new homes Going for growth: Rapid infrastructure advances Health kick: Exercising better lifestyle options

Barking and Dagenham

CGI of masterplan is indicative and subject to change


One of the country’s leading developers is investing for the long term in Barking and Dagenham. Look out for exciting new places and high-quality homes for everyone to enjoy.

Issue 8 Spring 2017

Everyone’s talking about the problems with renting. We’re solving them.

be:here Barking coming in 2018

be:here is a new approach to the private rented sector. • We create vibrant new communities and then ensure they act as catalysts for local regeneration • Our homes are designed specifically for rent. For example our 2 beds have two equal sized bedrooms that both enjoy en-suite bathrooms • We have an on-site management team who resolve any issues as soon as they arise and look after the buildings • We provide a range of additional facilities and services that makes people’s lives easier such as superfast broadband, extra storage and dry cleaning • All of our charges are fair and transparent • In short we’ve looked at every aspect of the rental experience and created a complete package that offers renters a distinctly better deal.

be:here schemes also available in East India (letting now), Hayes (Reserving now) and Kew (2018). Part of the Willmott Dixon Group

Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Higher & Degree Apprenticeships

“BDC are an excellent training provider they listen and more importantly they act!” Denize Halton Pre-Construction Manager

Whether you are a sole trader or a multi-national, well trained employees will keep your business healthy. To develop the skills of your workforce effectively, you need �exible training options that are designed around your business. That's where Barking & Dagenham College Business Engagement Team can help. Supporting you with bespoke training through to Apprenticeship at all levels Sup all are fantastic opportunities for you to equip your business with the most up-to-date skills around to give yourselves an edge against competitors. Talk to the Employer Services Team at Barking & Dagenham College today. 020 3667 0333

“The London Borough of Redbridge needs skilled people to operate in themodern economy and BDC provide us with those skills, from entry to higher level, in a superior quality learning environment with a professional service” Ann Butler Workforce Development Manager

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Siobhán Crozier EDITOR: James Wood SUB-EDITOR: Maria Shahid NEWS AND DIGITAL EDITOR: Marco Cillario TRAINEE REPORTER: Aileen Murphy ART DIRECTION: Smallfury Designs PRODUCTION MANAGER: Christopher Hazeldine BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR: Paul Gussar BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Shelley Cook PROJECT MANAGER: Sue Mapara SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER: Simon Maxwell MANAGING DIRECTOR: Toby Fox COVER IMAGE: Barking Riverside housing, provided by Barking Riverside Limited IMAGES: Benson Elliot, Studio Egret West, Barking Riverside Limited, Barking and Dagenham Council, bptw partnership, Andrew Baker, Coventry University, Infinite 3D, 360 Barking, Christoffer Ruddquist, Bow Arts Trust, Creative Barking and Dagenham, Studio 3 Arts, Create London, Dan Havarneanu, Ballet Theatre UK



PRINTED BY: Park Communications PUBLISHED BY: 3Fox International Sunley House Bedford Park Croydon CR0 2AP 020 7978 6840



Updates on health and leisure, transport, housing and plans for growth.

A NHS England project will offer healthcare support to residents across Barking and Dagenham.



For the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham David Harley, acting head of planning and regeneration Town Hall, 1 Town Square Barking IG11 7LU © 3Fox International Limited 2017. 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 ­necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited.

Significant infrastructure proposals include extending the Overground into Barking Riverside and tunnelling the A13. 18 HOUSING Thousands of homes are being built in the borough, including at London’s largest regeneration site.


29 MAP Locating the borough’s major schemes. 30 PROJECTS Including the redevelopment of a famous former factory and opening up the riverside. 36 MARKETS Facts and figures. 38 THE ARTIST’S VIEW What are the views of those involved with the borough’s cultural scene on how artists can contribute to creating a sense of place?

43 LIFESTYLE Popular restaurants, bustling leisure centres and a theatre are attracting the attention of homebuyers and developers alike. 46 BARKING-NOT-BERLIN Council leader Darren Rodwell calls for emigrating London artists to remain in the capital – by moving to Barking.



Abbey Sports Centre redevelopment approved A mixed-use scheme featuring 150 homes for the private rented sector is to be developed on Barking’s Axe Street (below). Barking and Dagenham Council gave the go-ahead to the redevelopment of the former Abbey Sports Centre in October 2016. The scheme, designed by bptw partnership for developer Lindhill, will include 3,350sq m of commercial and retail space, a cinema, offices and public realm improvements. The project will see the site occupied by a building varying in height from two to 13 storeys, with retail and leisure uses at ground level,

offices on the first floor and homes at the upper levels. The residential space will be mainly made up of one and two-bedroom apartments, with a small number of three-bedroom homes; 15 will be suitable for wheelchair adaptation. Lee Fitzpatrick, director at Lindhill, said of the scheme: “It has been a collaborative approach between Lindhill, Barking and Dagenham and bptw. We worked closely to ensure this scheme reflects the future needs of the area’s regeneration. “This is a prime example of what the right development team and a forward-thinking council can achieve.”

EAST PLUS PORTFOLIO MARKETED Industrial space between Barking and Rainham has come to the market. The East Plus portfolio includes five locations totalling 35ha along the A13, from Jenkins Lane in Barking to Ferry Lane in south Rainham. Property consultancy Glenny is acting on behalf of SEGRO with the Greater London Authority. At the 5.5-ha Jenkins Lane site, 4,180sq m of space has been let, while discussions are ongoing for the rest of the site, where up to 9,290sq m for warehouses can be provided.

Space is available for occupiers demonstrating “green credentials” at the London Sustainable Industries Park at Dagenham Dock. The development is expected to create up to 2,100 jobs. JJ Foods’ 1,730sq m Dagenham warehouse at Unit 5, Orion Park, adjacent to its own facility, is also being marketed by Glenny. In Barking, Clock House is now fully let, after recruitment consultancy Atom Services took the fourth floor office suite.

CHINA TOWN The first freight train to ever travel from China to the UK arrived at its final destination in Barking on 18 January 2017. It departed from Yiwu, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, travelling 12,000 kilometres across seven countries in 18 days. Textiles, clothes, bags and household goods were transported on the train through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before entering the Channel Tunnel into Britain. It would have taken the cargo twice as long to reach its destination if it had been transported by sea, while air freight would have been twice as expensive to send. London is the 15th European city to be added to the map of destinations

having a direct rail link with China, as part of the “One Belt, One Road” strategy by Chinese president Xi Jinping. Swiss company InterRail Group operated the train on behalf of China Railway subsidiary CRIMT. More than 100 people, including officials from the Chinese embassy and Yiwu’s local government, were present to witness the train’s arrival at DB Cargo’s London Eurohub in Barking – an event which received coverage from the national and international media. Councillor Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, celebrated the train’s arrival as “a sign that Barking and Dagenham is increasingly at the epicentre of the capital’s eastward shift”. “The challenge now is for British

business to fill the trains going back,” he added. A council spokesperson said the new service was expected to provide a fillip to trade between China and the UK, as well as boosting economic development in the borough.




Coventry University’s Dagenham digs Willmott Dixon Interiors has been selected to transform Dagenham’s civic centre into Coventry University’s (CU) London campus. The £4.5 million contract, announced on 6 February 2017, will transform the site into a contemporary learning environment. Opening in September 2017, CU London aims to make higher education more accessible, by offering lower tuition fees – from £5,846 a year – and lower entry requirements. CU London will also be offering flexible teaching and part-time courses run on Saturdays. John Dishman, chief executive


officer and director of CU Coventry, said: “As we look to make higher education more accessible, it is excellent that Willmott Dixon Interiors is offering training and employability opportunities to local residents as part of the project. The civic centre is an iconic east London landmark and Willmott Dixon is experienced in transforming listed buildings.” The grade-II listed building will still be owned by Barking and Dagenham Council and rented to the university on a 10-year lease. Applications have opened for September 2017. Open days are being held between March and May 2017.

Healthy ageing innovation centre, Care City has launched a digital initiative in Barking and Dagenham to improve outcomes for conditions such as dementia, reduce demand on the NHS and help people engage with their health problems. The digital service for GPs and other health professionals to use, will provide patients with digital prescriptions based on a person’s long-term condition and location – taken directly from their electronic records. Initially the project will focus on dementia, before being implemented for other conditions. Care City is one of five national health and social care test beds, and is the only one in London. It spans four boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. It seeks to test new approaches to service patients, assessing whether such measures have the capacity to improve serious conditions. A quality improvement function was also launched in January to determine and address the challenges that require people from local health and care groups to work collaboratively. Dr Matt Jameson Evans, chief medical officer of HealthUnlocked, which, with Care City, is behind the initivative, said: “By opening up support and services to those affected by dementia, we can give people a far better quality of life. “This is a first of its kind, digitally advanced service that has the potential to radically change selfmanagement in healthcare – and in particular for people with dementia in London.” Care City is also partly responsible for implementing the healthy new town at Barking Riverside (see pages 24 – 27).

London’s first “youth zone” proposed for Barking National charity OnSide has submitted a planning application to establish London’s first “youth zone” in Barking and Dagenham. The east London borough was chosen as it has a high number of people with conditions such as obesity. This will be tackled by offering affordable opportunities for younger residents to engage in sport and leisure activities in one of the country’s poorest areas. People aged between eight and 18 will have access to facilities at £5 for annual membership and 50p per visit. The youth zone will offer 20 activities each night, ranging from football, boxing, dancing and climbing to creative arts, music, drama and employability training. With eight open facilities across its network in the north-west and the midlands, the youth zone is proposed for Barking and Dagenham’s Parsloes Park, where Porters Avenue meets Gale Street. If planning approval is granted, building work on the facility is expected to be completed in 2018. The charity is working with Barking

and Dagenham Council as a strategic partner on the project, as well as the Jack Petchey Foundation and The Queen’s Trust. Young people from the area named the new youth zone ‘Future’, after a borough-wide branding consultation process. A group also travelled to Rugby to work with HB Architects, which has been appointed to develop and oversee the designs. They gave feedback on how they want the exterior of the building to look and how some of the internal areas could be best arranged. Future youth zone chair and OnSide’s London champion, Charles Mindenhall, said: “The submission of this planning application is not only a huge step forward for Barking and Dagenham but for London as a whole. “A tremendous amount of hard work has gone into consulting young people about what they want to see in their youth zone. OnSide’s motto of ‘somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to’ is exactly what Future will give to the young people of Barking and Dagenham.”

SHORTLIST FOR LONDON OVERGROUND EXTENSION Three companies have been shortlisted to bid to build the Barking Riverside Overground extension, Transport for London has announced. Balfour Beatty, Carillion or VolkerFitzpatrick/Morgan Sindall’s joint venture will be selected to build the 4.5km lengthening of the Gospel Oak to Barking line to reach the site where 10,800 homes are being built. A Transport and Works Act Order was submitted to the secretary of state for transport in March 2016. If it is approved, construction will begin in late 2017, with train services starting in 2021. The £263 million extension will be mainly funded by Barking Riverside Limited, a joint venture between the Greater London Authority and London & Quadrant.



Council establishes own development company A company dedicated to accelerating economic growth has been approved in Barking and Dagenham. The council gave the green light to Be First in November 2016, with the aim of speeding up regeneration and development and to spur growth in the borough, as well as increasing opportunities for residents. The move follows a recent independent growth commission investigation into prospects for Barking and Dagenham. Attracting investment and funding for the borough will be a key Be First priority. Allocated grants will be put towards new homes, better

infrastructure and securing jobs for the future. The company will be entirely owned by the public sector and managed by a board of regeneration experts. It is expected to generate £16 million for the council over the next 10 years. Though the council will continue to make final decisions on planning applications and to approve strategic plans and policies, Be First will offer pre-planning and project delivery services, as well as setting up joint ventures and other companies to deliver regeneration. “Barking and Dagenham is already

recognised as one of London’s growth hotspots but we are determined to ensure that investors understand that it is not just the best place in the capital, but also one of the easiest to do business with,” said Councillor Dominic Twomey, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for finance, growth and investment. “Be First will be a major force in driving down unemployment, building housing and improving education and skills in the borough.” Appointments to the board of Be First will be made by spring 2017 and staff are to be recruited in summer.

Full occupancy for business park Lyon Business Park in Barking is fully let, it has been announced. Picton Capital’s newly refurbished, 2,400sq m Unit O has been let to in-flight catering provider Newrest Servair, which joins occupiers such as WE Deane and Tea Palace on the estate on River Road. Units at the park range in sizes from 280 to 4,180sq m. Property consultant Glenny represented Picton alongside Knight Frank.



The Estates & Agency Group has a strong track record of successful involvement in Barking and is committed to the continuing exciting regeneration of the Borough Sites Previously Developed by E&A A

Roding House Cambridge Road


Maritime House 1 Linton Road


Central House Cambridge Road


50-74 Station Parade Barking


Focal House 12/18 Station Parade


Radial House Ripple Road


Trocoll House Wakering Road


Clock House East Street, Barking

Current Property Holdings The first phase of the Abbey Retail Park site regeneration – Barking Wharf – is now under construction, with Be:here developing 597 PRS units.

BOLD Unlocking growth

Line dance Matthew Young reports on how plans to boost Barking and Dagenham’s connectivity options could spur development and turn this part of east London into one of the capital’s most desirable places to live 12

WITH THOUSANDS OF homes in the pipeline and plans for key rail extensions to improve Barking and Dagenham’s transport links, the transformation of the borough into a place desired by homebuyers and businesses alike looks set to continue. There are ample opportunities for new development projects, which are set to become available as a result of the proposed extension of the London Overground train service to Barking Riverside, a pivotal part of one of the largest planned residential projects in the UK. London Mayor Sadiq Khan last year gave the green light to a masterplan

BOLD Unlocking growth

Left and below: A new station at Barking Riverside will feature attractive public realm.

to build 10,800 new homes over the next 15 years at Barking Riverside, home until the 1980s to three working power stations. The development is the capital’s single biggest regeneration site. It will be home to a promenade, a wildlife reserve and a marina, sitting alongside a picturesque part of the River Thames. Some homes have already been built, more are under construction and a new round will begin this year. Construction of the Overground extension is likely to begin later in 2017, with train services scheduled to be ready by 2021, serving Barking

Riverside and the surrounding marina. The works include modification to existing railway lines from Barking station over a stretch of 3km, with a new 1.5km stretch of railway from Renwick Road bridge to a new station where the service will terminate. The extension will serve close to 25,000 new residents when it is complete. Should plans for a further extension under the river to southeast London’s Abbey Wood go ahead, access to and from Barking Riverside will be further improved. Transport for London (TfL) has already started the procurement process, with three contractors being

considered to build the extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking line: Balfour Beatty, Carillion or VolkerFitzpatrick/Morgan Sindall’s joint venture. The majority of the £260 million for the project is coming from the developers, a joint venture between the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London and Quadrant (L&Q), which are providing £172 million, with the remainder pledged by TfL. Daniel Pope, acting head of planning at Barking and Dagenham Council, says that without the line being built, it would only be possible to construct 4,000 homes


BOLD Unlocking growth

at the Barking Riverside site. The Overground development is now likely to go ahead and the possibility of a further extension across the Thames is proposed. “Longer term, there is an aspiration to take it to Abbey Wood Crossrail station. Then the connections would be even better for the area. It’s really that link to Crossrail, it just improves public transport,” Pope adds. The London mayor is currently considering the case for the extension across the river. Retailers in the borough are expected to benefit from the scheme too. The council says that an average of two-and-a-half people are set to live in each of the 10,800 new homes, and with the Overground linking it with the rest of the region, Barking town centre is set to thrive from the influx of new shoppers. David Harley, acting head of regeneration at the council, says: “The


Developments like this one will play a huge part in efforts to provide genuinely affordable homes

Overground will also benefit Barking town centre because we will have around 25,000 people living at Barking Riverside who can get there by train. It’s potentially huge for Barking town centre, which is undergoing its own transformation.” Homebuyers are already showing a huge amount of interest in the area, thanks to affordable house prices and its proximity to the river. Some 35% of the properties are aimed at being affordable, and that figure could rise to 50% depending on a grant from the GLA. That interest is likely to surge once the Overground extension is in place and is predicted by the council to do so again if the further connection over the river to Abbey Wood is made. Pope says people who go to Barking Riverside note the quality of the homes, the impressive landscaping and the proximity to the river. “We’ve also already got the best performing primary school in the borough there

BOLD Unlocking growth

[George Carey Church of England Primary School],” he adds. “About 900 homes have been built and have people living in them with a further 800 under construction. People who have moved there love it because nowhere else in London can you get so much space for that amount of money. “Those who already live there were not certain the Overground extension would be built when they moved in, but when it happens it will really drive the next round of housing. About 500 or 600 homes will be built there every year once people are aware of the transport links that are coming.” These homes will be a mix of those which are earmarked as being affordable to rent and one, two and three-bedroom properties for firsttime buyers. The vast development is aiming to unlock something that many of the borough’s residents did not know or believe was accessible to them: the River Thames. Despite huge swathes of the south of the borough having the famous waterway all to itself, for many years it was inaccessible. Harley says: “Some people in the borough do not know we’ve got the River Thames. It is there in the southern part of the borough but for many years there was no access to it. Unlocking access to the Thames will be a great benefit for the whole of Barking and Dagenham. “A development of this size does not happen very often in London. It will have a transformational impact and will help change the existing perceptions of Barking and show what’s happening here.” The council is confident that the scheme will not just provide homes for people to live in, but offer a good quality of life with the riverside being a place where residents can walk, relax, shop, eat and drink. The London mayor made this point when approving plans for the homes back in September: “I have made it clear that tackling London’s housing crisis is my number one

The Overground (left) could be extended into Barking Riverside and congestion reduced by tunnelling under the A13. Below: Barking station.

priority. Fixing this problem will be a marathon, not a sprint, but developments like this one will play a huge part in our efforts to provide genuinely affordable homes for people to buy and rent.” “Our next task is to ensure this development includes the facilities and infrastructure which will make this a fantastic place to live and to visit, rather than simply a housing development,” he adds. But there is more to the region than just the Barking Riverside development, with proposals to tunnel a stretch of the A13 coming forward. Previous London mayor Boris Johnson decided that a good way to tackle congestion and air quality issues in the capital, while at the same

time freeing up land for development, would be to tunnel under trunk roads in chosen locations. Pope says: “We put the A13 forward because we thought it would be a good candidate, and Boris Johnson also thought it was the best road for tunnelling. “It will also reduce severance in the area, as well as addressing air quality, improving traffic flow and unlocking land for new homes. “TfL has submitted a business case to the Treasury. They agreed last March that it seems a good idea and TfL is doing more detailed work on the business plan. “We have also got interest now from developers,” he adds. The 1.3km tunnel between the


BOLD Unlocking growth

Below: The first freight train arriving in London from China at DB Cargo UK’s Eurohub terminal in Barking.

Barking and Dagenham is increasingly at the epicentre of the capital’s eastward shift Lodge Avenue flyover and Goresbrook Interchange is expected to create job opportunities while also helping to solve notorious bottlenecks at Lodge Avenue and Renwick Road. Another proposal high on the council’s priority list is a plan to create a direct rail link between Barking town centre and Stratford. Currently the journey time to Stratford, which reaped the rewards of hosting the London 2012 Olympics, is around 15 minutes, requiring a change at West Ham. But a feasibility study, due to be carried out later this year and partfunded by TfL, will analyse whether a direct link can be established. If the


plans do go ahead, it would mean a direct journey of eight minutes. While jobs and opportunities are being created through various developments, Barking received national attention for a different reason at the beginning of the year. On January 19, the first freight train from China to the UK arrived at DB Cargo UK’s London Eurohub terminal in Barking. Councillor Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, says this is “a sign that Barking and Dagenham is increasingly at the epicentre of the capital’s eastward shift”. The train, loaded primarily with textiles and consumer goods,

originated in Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. It reached London in around 18 days, making it in half the time than if transported by sea. Operated by the InterRail Group, a multinational transport operator headquartered in Switzerland, on behalf of China Railway subsidiary CRIMT, various freight railways handled traction along the 12,000km route. DB Cargo is responsible for handling the section from Duisburg to London via the Channel Tunnel. Barking and Dagenham is clearly reaping the rewards of funding that has been ploughed into the area by various authorities and developers. Not only is the borough set to benefit from more homes and better transport connections: those not aware of its offer will soon have better access to explore it. With potential for thousands of new homes, a buzz around the new marina and better links to the Thames, more money is expected to be invested for significant infrastructure improvements, and Barking and Dagenham is set to thrive.


Unlocking land

for affordable homes in London

Whether it's identifying land for development, preparing it for use or using modern methods of construction to deliver affordable housing faster, Atkins can help you unlock the land you need to provide affordable homes for your community. Find out more at or contact development director Keith Sands on

BOLD Housing

Below: Integrated communities will be crucial to the 360 Barking development.

Homegrown With a housing zone in Barking town centre, and London’s largest regeneration site at Barking Riverside, Maria Shahid finds an east London borough which is playing a pivotal part in dealing with the capital’s housing crisis 18

BOLD Housing

BARKING AND DAGENHAM has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years. London mayor Sadiq Khan visited Barking Riverside on a sunny September morning in 2016 to announce the enormous potential of the site “to deliver thousands of the much-needed homes Londoners so urgently need”. This is a major boost to Barking and Dagenham Council’s ambitions to make housing a priority. Khan approved a masterplan to build 10,800 homes on London’s single largest regeneration site located on the northern banks of the River Thames. The 180-ha brownfield site, which has been described as having a similar potential to European cities such as Barcelona, where underdeveloped waterfronts have been reinvigorated, is expected to take 15 years to complete, and will include a promenade, wildlife reserves and a marina. Alex Jeremy, a regeneration officer at the council, explains Barking Riverside’s masterplan accounts for over a fifth of the borough’s ambition

to create 50,000 homes over the next 20 years. The site’s affordable housing provision is a minimum of 35% and this could rise to 50% over time through additional investment and viability reviews. The scheme is being delivered through a joint venture between the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London and Quadrant (L&Q), called Barking Riverside Limited. It aims to build at least 600 homes a year until 2030, when the project is due to complete. Under the former plan, 900 homes were built and 200 more are expected by summer 2017. The first homes were launched in September 2016 and further properties are due to be released this year. Development on the next phase of housing is due to start in summer 2017, and will see 381 units built for private and shared ownership. L&Q is also due to launch the first 100 private rented sector (PRS) units on site imminently; 3,000 PRS units are included in the overall masterplan. The £263 million extension of the London Overground Gospel Oak to

Barking line into Barking Riverside is predicted to make the site more attractive to homebuyers. Barking Riverside Limited is providing £172 million, with the remainder supplied by Transport for London. Matt Carpen, project director at Barking Riverside Limited, says a decision on the public enquiry for the extension, which took place in October 2016, is expected in 2017. Work is likely to start in 2018. “The site needed a strategic transport connection. The Overground extension is fundamental to the site and we are currently working on

Above: Barking Riverside residents would benefit from plans to extend the London Overground into the site.


BOLD Housing

the detailed design of the station building,” he adds. The station is expected to be fully operational by 2021. Carpen says the intention is to have a well-established community on-site when it opens. For now, he is keen to encourage nonresidential meanwhile uses – either commercial or creative. But Barking Riverside is only a part of the borough’s housing jigsaw. An independent growth commission report in 2016, led by Mike Emmerich – No one left behind: In pursuit of growth for the benefit of everyone – concluded that the borough had the right growth ambitions and was at a critical juncture to unlock its potential. It included over 100 recommendations and set goals to the year 2035, and has informed the development of the housing plans. David Harley, acting head of planning and regeneration at the council, says: “Critically, it is about enhancing existing assets and the borough’s sense of identity, as well as achieving real placemaking regeneration that leaves no one behind.” Barking town centre is a crucial site. The 97-ha area is one of the capital’s housing zones and the


Above left: Modern show homes at 360 Barking. Above and right: Vicarage Field shopping centre plans include 850 homes and a primary school.

It’s about achieving real placemaking which leaves no one behind

council is now expecting to create more than 6,000 homes there, with a substantial element of PRS. Located on a prominent site near the station, 360 Barking is a key part of the area’s ambitions for housing. The £52 million Swan Housing scheme features interlinked residential towers designed by Studio Egret West, with 291 one and twobedroom apartments for private sale, including 96 for shared ownership in four circular towers ranging from nine to 28 storeys. The complex will have a concierge and plans for it to become

BOLD Housing

a creative arts hub will add to the borough’s cultural focus. The scheme was awarded “Best Scheme in Planning” at the National Housing Awards 2016 and will include panoramic views across the capital’s skyline from the communal garden roof terraces and higher apartments. The first stage of the scheme, launched in November 2016, with 100% sold off-plan and the second stage launched in mid-February 2017. Geoff Pearce, executive director of regeneration and development at Swan, says that the development,

which is expected to complete in January 2019, is the first to come forward in the capital in a housing zone with the aid of GLA funding. Building on the success of the Ice House Quarter, the council aims to retain the ground floor to provide a facility for artists as part of the Barking Artist Enterprise zone. The Bath Haus, Barking, a holistic spa which up until now has been located in Barking library, is also due to have a permanent home on the ground floor of 360 Barking. Also in the housing zone is Vicarage Field shopping centre, which Benson Elliot and Londonewcastle are redeveloping into a mixed-use scheme with around 900 homes, a 150-bed hotel, workspace for startups, a 650seat cinema; a gym; a music venue and new healthcare facilities. The scheme will also incorporate a threeform entry primary school. Designed by Studio Egret West, the development was given outline approval by the council’s planning committee in January 2017, and is now awaiting final approval from London mayor Sadiq Khan. Meanwhile, the 17-ha Ford Stamping Plant is part of the London Riverside Opportunity Area in Dagenham, and has been earmarked by the GLA as an important location for homes, jobs, infrastructure and growth. Dagenham Dock – a joint venture

between St Congar and Europa Capital Partners – acquired the land in May 2015, and began work at the end of September. St Congar director, Steve Taylor, describes it as “one of the most exciting growth opportunity areas in London”. He says the developers are planning a mixed-use, residential-led scheme comprising around 3,000 homes. But the council has also taken a novel approach to providing homes for all parts of the community. In 2012, it established its own housing company, Barking and Dagenham Reside, to deliver more affordable homes for local people. So far, 621 homes have been built, which are available at discounted market rent. Future schemes will also include shared ownership properties. Harley says that later in 2017, the council is also intending to establish Be First, a private company tasked with regenerating the borough. “One element of Be First’s role will be to deliver Reside’s development pipeline as well as supporting the private sector to deliver homes and jobs,” Harley adds. “Be First will combine public sector regeneration ethos and local knowledge with private sector expertise and flexibility to deliver the best of both worlds.” Barking and Dagenham’s innovative approach to housing seems to be paying dividends.




Photos: Performers at the Broadway Theatre, the proposed East Brook Studios, Cllr Darren Rodwell enjoying a festival - photo Jimmy Lee, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visiting The White House in Dagenham, a production of The Merchant of Venice by Studio 3 Arts - photo Mark Sepple.



15 minutes


Barking and Dagenham is London’s Growth opportunity for the creative industries. With the Barking Artist Enterprise Zone and proposals for a Film industry cluster at Dagenham East, the Borough can play a key role in retaining the Capital’s creativity. We already have a strong network of partners:

...and we’re keen to welcome more. John East Strategic Director – Growth and Homes 020 8227 5124

David Harley Acting Head of Regeneration 020 8227 5316

Daniel Pope Acting Head of Planning 020 8227 3929

BOLD Healthy new town

Healthy living New developments open the opportunity to create places where people can live happier, healthier and longer lives. James Wood reports

Above and right: Green space at Barking Riverside is seen as imperative to encouraging healthy living.


BOLD Healthy new town

AS EFFORTS TO RESOLVE the housing crisis are increasingly focused on building the desired number of units, there is a danger of prioritising volume over creating desirable and healthy places to live. The challenges facing the NHS are well documented. Services are stretched, GP waiting times are up and the number of people with conditions ranging from obesity to dementia continue to soar. It is hard to change established habits in places where fast food outlets and restrictive town planning for pedestrians are commonplace, but as new developments spring up around the country, there is an opportunity to think about creating healthier communities for the future. NHS England’s Healthy New Town project aims to help achieve this. The initiative was launched in March 2016 and Barking Riverside was among

10 “demonstrator sites” chosen for the project. New developments were selected to redesign how local health and care services will be provided, particularly in improving wellbeing and independence. It is thought that by doing this, there is potential to contribute to the long-term financial security of the NHS: it is estimated the healthy new towns project could help close the significant funding gap by 2-3% by 2020/21. Barking and Dagenham Council and healthy ageing innovation centre, Care City, are co-leading the scheme, working closely with the Barking Riverside Limited joint venture partnership – made up of housing developer London and Quadrant (L&Q) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) – which will oversee the building of 10,800 homes at the site, scheduled for completion by 2031. It will become

There is a real opportunity at this stage in the project to think about future methods of health care


BOLD Healthy new town

one of the largest housing projects in the country. Care City, set up by Barking and Dagenham Council and the North East London Foundation Trust, is based in Barking, and focuses on health and social care across four boroughs in east London. Working with researchers, education providers, technology experts, SMEs and social enterprises, its focus is on helping people to lead healthy lives, stay independent for longer, have better access to care and be given the chance to stay close to family.

Above: Striking architecture and flower beds at Barking Riverside.


These are the key aims for making Barking Riverside a healthy new town from the outset. John Craig, chief executive of Care City, says: “A big focus at Barking Riverside will be on delivering good quality housing and the provision of technology that allows people to live healthy and independent lives in their homes into old age, creating a healthy environment and finding ways to provide more effective care services.” Careful infrastructure planning will be required, such as making fibre broadband and wifi available in public areas across the site, giving people access to ‘real-time’ transport information and designing public spaces to account for a range of needs and uses. Dr Fiona Wright, consultant in public health at Barking and Dagenham Council, believes that creating a connected community and a sense of place is crucial to implementing the healthy new town. She says: “Together, we want to make Barking Riverside a place which is healthy for all who live and work in and around the area. “In the process, we want to ensure that no one is left behind, that all new residents benefit and that the process also works for existing and

neighbouring communities.” This will be achieved by making sure visitors to the area benefit, as well as local residents, irrespective of their economic and social circumstances Adopting the healthy new town for the development has the potential to have an effect for the whole borough, by creating opportunities such as access to the riverside and more green space for all. Making effective use of the natural environment is key. Waterside space will not only be available for runners and cyclists, but also for those who value having quiet areas to walk, talk and think. But the scale of Barking Riverside creates a challenge. Wright says: “The rate of growth and the poor social and health outcomes for the residents of our borough provide us with an imperative to put in place strategies to maximise health and wellbeing benefits for all residents as the borough grows.” A shared commitment from the council, NHS and developers will ensure Barking Riverside is designed with an emphasis on ecological and sustainable practice. One of the first pieces of work completed saw residents and advisers create 10 healthy new town principles,

BOLD Healthy new town

which are now written into planning guidance for developers. The ultimate aim is to improve the average life expectancy for people at Barking Riverside. “There is a genuine chance to change lives,” Wright explains. Barking Riverside is managed by a

We want to make Barking Riverside a place which is healthy for all

Above: open spaces abound at the site to explore.

Community Interest Company (CIC), which currently includes Barking Riverside Limited, L&Q as a housing association, the council, the George Carey Primary School, local residents and other observatory bodies. As the development grows, the local population will be more involved with the project, enabling residents to determine priorities and decisions. Eventually, the idea is to let residents drive the initiative. Matt Carpen, project director of Barking Riverside Limited, says: “There will be increased representation on the CIC from the local population, enabling priorities and decisions to be debated by residents themselves. “There is a real opportunity at this stage in the project to think about future methods of both prevention and health care – from designing open spaces and promoting their use and wellbeing – to encouraging selfdiagnosis and treatment.” So what’s next for the project? Care City and Barking and Dagenham Council are working closely with NHS England and collaborating with those charged with implementing other

healthy new towns across the country to share good practice and ideas for each demonstrator site. Craig says an early priority is to develop “detailed metrics” to allow work to be independently modified and verified. The key to this, he says, is connecting a healthy place with how people really use the space. “We will work closely with the CIC to ensure that work to help people become and remain healthy is genuinely led by them,” he adds. Wright stresses the importance of working with partners so that Barking Riverside is a healthy place to live and grow old. “But we are equally determined that Barking Riverside and the health promoting environment will develop links strongly with our surrounding communities so all can benefit from this Healthy New Town,” she adds. “We will continue work and collaborate with other healthy new towns, our community and partners to embrace and embed our vision for Barking Riverside and take forward these innovative approaches to help other communities learn and develop their healthier environments.” Those heading up Barking Riverside’s Healthy New Town initiative seem fairly robust in their ideas about how they intend to achieve their ambitions, but what is the guarantee that new residents at Barking Riverside will be willing and able to participate? “Places ‘lock in’ certain kinds of behaviours,” says Craig. “Often, to help people live healthier lives, the challenge is just how much needs to change. To be encouraged to cycle more, people need somewhere to cycle to, pathways that get them there, and a place to store their bike when they get home. “If any one piece of the puzzle is missing, behaviour change becomes dramatically harder. Healthy places are those that combine all of these elements – where the healthy option becomes the easy option for all.”


Is modular housing the answer?

Swan is currently supporting the transformation of Barking Town Centre with our landmark scheme at Cambridge Road, where local residents will be given priority to purchase homes in four award winning cylindrical towers. At Swan, we were one of the first Housing Associations to have our own in-house contractor- NU living - and to build homes for private sale. Over £54 million from our commercial activities has already been reinvested to deliver our social purpose of providing homes and services including our accredited foyer service and our community development team. Swan is continuing its history of innovation by using its new factory to manufacture new homes using cutting edge construction techniques. In a high-tech manufacturing environment, modules (made of sustainable cross laminated timber) will be constructed and fitted out before delivery to site. The benefits of our high quality modular homes are: • • • •

Precision engineered Completed in 50% of usual construction timescales Energy efficient and sustainable Indistinguishable from traditionally built homes

The manufacturing process standardises quality and reduces cost and the buyers benefit from 60 year insurance cover. So if the question is ‘how can we meet growing demand for housing?’, we think modular housing is part of the answer.

Swan’s factory will produce up to 300 homes a year and with a secured development pipeline of over 3,500 homes, there’s plenty to build. 570 modular homes will be delivered to Swan’s £150m regeneration of Craylands in Basildon, known as Beechwood, a project being delivered in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency and Basildon Borough Council. Modular won’t be right for every scheme, so we will still build traditionally too. We have a great track record with completed projects including our award winning regeneration of Crossways in Tower Hamlets. Transformed as Bow Cross, it won the Mayor’s Award for Planning 5 Years On. On-going projects include Blackwall Reach, a £300m scheme we are delivering in partnership with the Mayor of London and London Borough of Tower Hamlets, bringing an additional 1,248 high quality homes to Poplar. Critically, over 50% will be affordable tenure (including large family homes) and 80% of these homes are for social rent. It is perhaps unsurprising then, that this 1,500 home scheme has already scooped the Mayor’s Award for Planning Gain 2015. So, after almost a quarter of a century of delivering great homes and communities, we still believe we can do more. That’s why our new corporate strategy is all about how, working with partners, we will do just that. This will include delivering more high quality modular and traditionally built homes to meet housing demand in the South East. If you would like to find out how together we can deliver more, contact Geoff Pearce, Executive Director of Regeneration & Development (


Bold | Map

Projects in Barking and Dagenham 01 Barking Riverside Gateways 02 Barking Wharf 03 Barking town centre 04 Beam Park/Ford Stamping Plant 05 Becontree Heath 06 Weavers Quarter (Gascoigne) 07 Barking Riverside 08 Vicarage Field Shopping Centre 09 360 Barking 10 Abbey Sports Centre 11 Linton Road – Artist Housing


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BOLD Projects



Barking Riverside Barking Riverside Limited is a joint venture made up of the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London and Quadrant (L&Q). The 180-ha brownfield site on the northern banks of the River Thames is the capital’s largest regeneration site. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan approved a new masterplan for the scheme in September 2016, paving the way for up to 10,800 new homes, of which a minimum of 35% will be allocated as affordable from the outset, with provision to rise this to 50% over time through additional investment and viability reviews. The developers aim to build 600 homes a year until 2030, which is when the scheme is due to complete. With 800 homes already built, a further 200 are expected to be completed by summer 2017. The first of these homes were completed in September 2016, with more following in January 2017. L&Q has launched the first 100 private rented sector (PRS) units; 3,000 PRS units are featured in the overall masterplan for the site. The £263 million extension of the London Overground Gospel Oak to Barking line into Barking Riverside is predicted to make the location more attractive to potential homebuyers. The majority of the funding, £173 million, is being provided by Barking Riverside Limited, with the remainder from Transport for London. A public inquiry was held in October 2016 over a Transport and Works Act Order to secure the powers and planning permission. A decision on the inquiry was expected in 2017 and work on the extension would then start in 2018. The station is expected to be fully operational by 2021.

Beam Park The 29-ha Beam Park development on the site of the former Ford factory plant by Countryside and L&Q will see 2,800 homes built, 35% of which will be shared ownership properties marketed to the local community. Countryside and L&Q, supported by the mayor of London, are progressing a planning application to be submitted in spring 2017. The scheme includes a railway station, a commercial quarter and community facilities. The development will also feature a C2C station and a primary school. Improved pedestrian and cycling routes and a public park along the River Beam will also be developed. Due to open in 2020, the station will enable local residents to reach central London in 20 minutes. The project received a £9 million grant from Transport for London’s growth fund. The disused factory on the site was used for the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games and formed the backdrop to the film Made in Dagenham.


BOLD Projects

Barking Wharf

Ford Stamping Plant Adjacent to Beam Park, the 17-ha Ford Stamping Plant is part of the London Riverside Opportunity Area in Dagenham. Dagenham Dock, a joint venture between St Congar and Europa Capital Partners, acquired the site in early 2016 and demolition work started in September. The site is near Dagenham Dock station and has a journey time to the City of 20 minutes. The developers plan to create a mixed-use, residential-led scheme comprising 2,650 homes, and believe it will serve as a catalyst for the opportunity area, as well as integrating with Beam Park. A team has now been appointed to draw up an outline planning application for the project, which is likely to be submitted to the council


in autumn 2017. This will follow a consultation process with the local community, elected representatives, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Councillor Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council – who toured the site in September with Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham – welcomed the transformation of the “derelict site, which once epitomised postindustrial decline”. Steve Taylor, director at St Congar, who is overseeing the project, called the site “one of the most exciting growth opportunity areas in London”. The GLA has earmarked the Ford Stamping Plant as a key location for new homes, jobs, infrastructure and growth in the capital.

Work is about to start on a scheme featuring almost 600 homes in Barking town centre. Barking Wharf will be developed on 1.57ha of the 3.64-ha Abbey Retail park, between the River Roding and Abbey Ruins. Developer be:here was granted permission in spring 2016 and will deliver 597 properties specifically designed for rent. The scheme – which is in two levelled blocks between six and 15 storeys – will also include 1,617sq m of flexible commercial space, as well as car and cycle parking.

Vicarage Field shopping centre

 eavers Quarter W (Gascoigne Estate) Housing association East Thames is working in partnership with Barking and Degenham Council to transform the eastern side of the Gascoigne Estate in Barking, replacing old properties with 1,575 new homes. The development, named Weavers Quarter, is expected to bring £300 million of investment into the town centre. Plans designed by architects Levitt Bernstein and Allies and Morrison include new primary and secondary schools, an energy centre, a community centre, play areas and space for retail. The homes will have between one and four bedrooms and will be available for rent, shared and private ownership. Phase one of the scheme was given the green light in October 2014. It included 421 homes and a medical centre, replacing 382 properties previously on the estate. Contractor Bouygues UK was appointed the following year and work started shortly afterwards. Completion for this phase is expected in 2018. The council’s cabinet approved detailed plans for the second stage of development in July 2016, which will see 470 homes and a school built. Councillor Dominic Twomey, deputy leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said the local authority’s vision was to create an “attractive and prosperous” community, with the new school at the heart of it. According to Trevor Burns, executive director for development, sales and asset management at East Thames, the development has the potential to “completely transform Barking town centre”. The council has assembled a £106 million fund and agreed to start rehousing the residents of the blocks earmarked for demolition. The scheme, which will include further phases, is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Around 900 homes are to be built in Barking town centre as part of the redevelopment of Vicarage Field shopping centre. The project, by developers Benson Elliot and Londonewcastle, includes a 150-bed hotel, affordable space for startups, a 650-seat cinema, a gym, a music venue, a primary school and healthcare facilities. It aims to create a new shopping, dining and leisure destination and will feature a shared communal garden with play spaces for residents. The scheme is estimated to generate up to 1,000 new jobs. Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee gave it the goahead in January 2017. The application now needs to be referred to the mayor of London for a final decision and section 106 agreements are needed for it to secure outline planning permission. Deputy leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Dominic Twomey, welcomed the plans, saying the redevelopment “puts the green into Vicarage Field” and “paves the way for a 21st century retail experience, balancing the needs of consumers. It brings with it entertainment outlets, homes for Londoners, amazing green leisure facilities and jobs for local people.”


BOLD Projects

360 Barking

Abbey Sports Centre redevelopment The redevelopment of the former Abbey Sports Centre will deliver 150 homes for private rental and 3,350sq m of commercial and retail space. It will include a cinema, offices and public realm improvements. Designed by bptw partnership, plans involve the construction of a building varying in height from two to 13 storeys on Axe Street, Barking. Retail and leisure uses will be at ground level. The first floor will be occupied by offices and the upper levels by one and two-bedroom homes, with a small portion of three-bedroom properties; 15 will be suitable for wheelchair adaptation. Developer Lindhill and Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration and planning team worked with bptw on the design. The council gave approval for the mixed-use scheme in October 2016. Expressing his satisfaction on being granted planning permission, Lindhill director Lee Fitzpatrick said the Abbey Sports Centre redevelopment scheme showed “what the right development team and a forward-thinking, proactive council can achieve”. Adele Lawrence, planning case officer, stated in a report that officers thought that the design of the development was “a well-considered response, given the mixed-use nature of the site”. “The architectural and residential quality is considered to be high throughout and would make for an interesting addition to the town centre built form,” she added.


Nu Living – the residential arm of Swan Housing Association – has started work on a £52 million scheme in Barking town centre. Located by the station, 360 Barking is made up of four interlinked circular towers ranging from nine to 28 storeys, designed by Studio Egret West. Awarded Best Scheme in Planning at the National Housing Awards 2016, it will deliver 291 one and twobedroom apartments, all with balconies, 96 of them for shared ownership. Some apartments have been released in the tallest tower, The Heights. Prices start from £302,500 for a onebedroom apartment and from £372,500 for a twobedroom apartment. The complex will have a concierge and commercial space and provides panoramic views across the capital’s skyline from the communal garden roof terraces and the apartments higher up. Affordable workspace for artists and others working in the creative industries will feature on the ground floor, which the council aims to retain. The first phase of the scheme launched in November 2016 and all properties marketed were sold off-plan. The second stage launched in mid-February 2017. Work is expected to finish in January 2019.

Becontree Heath Plans for Becontree Heath include 170 homes. Barking and Dagenham Council identified a set of sites for development as part of the scheme: they include the location of the former Althorne Way tower block, the bus stand on Wood Lane with the nearby car park; the landscaped area between Wood Lane and Gosfield Road and the location of the former council offices on Stour Road. Developer Countryside, working with Stitch Architects, was selected to work with the council and create a masterplan for the project. The scheme will be a mix of private town houses and apartments for sale and Barking and Dagenham Reside shared ownership and discounted market rent homes. Residents’ feedback on the proposals was collected in summer 2016, ahead of the submission of the planning application. This September, Coventry University will start operating its CU London campus in the council’s former civic centre, adjacent to the Becontree Heath site (see page 8).

 arking Riverside B Gateways Housing Zone The Barking Riverside Gateways Housing Zone has been confirmed, creating the potential for 3,000 further homes next to the 10,800-home Barking Riverside site. Rick Mather Architects is finalising the masterplan for the area, located between Barking Riverside and Thames View. The scheme will involve the transformation of an existing industrial site. This will create a new residential area, along with commercial space and a new secondary school. Barking and Dagenham Council will be launching the search for a development partner at the global property conference, MIPIM 2017. The event takes place in Cannes, south of France, between 14 and 17 March 2017.


BOLD Markets


and to be created in the borough by

Barking becomes 15th European place to have a rail link with China

Barking Riverside Gateways Housing Zone:



eration site n e g e r t s e rg London’s la rom: f RS will benefit ing 3,000 P d lu c in , s e m • 10,800 ho ion of the s n e t x e n o milli • The £263 erground London Ov 36


further homes planned

6,000 homes

due to be created

in Barking Largest increase in house prices of any London borough: up 17% from £246,955 in 2015 to £288,873 in 2016 (Source: UK House Price Index: November 2016)

£4.5 million upgrade to Dagenham’s civic centre

town centre

1,575 homes ,a community c a public squaentre and re to be built on Weavers Quarter (form erly the Gascoigne es tate)

for Coventry University’s London campus 37

BOLD Regeneration: the artists’ view

Regeneration: the artists’ view What is the relationship between art and regeneration? Do artists play a role in the redevelopment of an area – or should they? Marco Cillario asks five people involved with Barking and Dagenham’s cultural scene for their views on the matter 38

CHRISTINA FORD (PICTURED SITTING, RIGHT), RESIDENT ARTIST AT THE WHITE HOUSE Arts organisation Create London has transformed an 18th century farmhouse on the Becontree estate into a community space. Every three months, two artists are hosted at The White House to develop projects engaging the local

community. Long-time Barking and Dagenham resident and single mother Christina Ford is one of them and is using art to support others who find themselves in her situation. Tell me about the project you are working on at the moment. Barking and Dagenham has the highest percentage of lone parent households

BOLD Regeneration: the artists’ view

in England and Wales and I am offering them drop-in sessions during the day and in the evenings. We are running different workshops for three months, as well as arts and crafts sessions. I’ll also be working on producing a piece of documentary theatre. Unfortunately, some voices get lost, and if lone parents’ voices were heard today we would not be facing the challenges and stigma that we do. I think if people listened we would be better understood. As an artist, what can you do to support a community affected by regeneration? Artists can identify needs and work and engage with their community. I know one of the biggest worries within regeneration is that people are going to be left behind. Change is difficult for everyone. Our role is about

helping local people keep up with it, by providing a space where voices get heard and become part of that process. Why is art the right way to do that? Art is a platform to be involved in a community, be a part of something and meet other people. I think, in such a diverse borough as Barking and Dagenham, this is very important: art is a good way to build bridges. The council has done an amazing job in supporting arts and artists based within the borough. I know artists I went to university with at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Swiss Cottage: a lot of their work used to be focused around that area, however a lot of them are now trying to come to Barking and Dagenham, because we are really rich in art.

MICHAEL CUBEY (ABOVE), EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND HEAD OF CREATIVE WORKSPACES AT BOW ARTS TRUST Charity Bow Arts Trust has set up a venture to provide 500sq m of affordable artists’ workspace on the ground floor of IceHouse Court. Painters, sculptors, shoemakers, design and craft makers, textile and fashion artists have taken up space at the venue. Michael, how do you think supporting artists can benefit an area? Artists are and should be part of the community in which they are based, not separate from it or simply ‘passing through’. If they are provided with affordable workspace, with the chance to develop their practice and with income opportunities to support this, artists are able to spend more time in the

area they are working in, and become much more engaged locally. Why should local authorities and developers take into account artistic space when making plans for the redevelopment of an area? London prides itself on being a cultural capital, and that requires space for artists to make work – research and development as well as production and display. For this to be sustainable, to avoid London simply becoming a city of museums, but to retain its critical mass of creative activity, it is vital that affordable workspace is retained. The benefit that wellmanaged artistic activity coming out of these spaces brings to an area, and to a developer, in helping make it a more interesting place to live, is obviously very important too.


BOLD Regeneration: the artists’ view

VERITY-JANE KEEFE (BELOW), LOCAL ARTIST Verity-Jane Keefe is a visual artist with a fine arts background who has worked in Barking and Dagenham for more than 10 years, exploring the relationship between people and places, and is still active and involved in a number of projects. What is the role of regeneration in your work? My work looks at how people ‘live’ regeneration, what it is like on the ground. What does regeneration really mean? What I have learned through my work is that the word has a much more complex meaning than we normally assume: it affects everyone, from council officers to residents and developers. It represents social change. When estates and tower blocks are demolished, it is not just old buildings that go: it is also the people who go, and that could change the community. Can you give me an example of this? In 2013, I was commissioned by Barking and Dagenham Council to produce work about


the redevelopment of Goresbrook Village, now known as Castle Green Place, which saw developer Countryside replace three tower blocks with 149 new homes. My work was called ‘Legoland’: the name refers to the fact that local people used to say the towers looked as if they were made of Lego. The filming took 18 months, showing the estate before, during and after the redevelopment. We also included interviews with residents, housing officers, decanting officers and shot footage of the demolition and the reconstruction of the site. When the work was finished, the new residents had already moved in. The screening, which happened between the remaining construction site and new homes in February 2015, saw people who used to live there, new residents, councillors and developers, all coming together in the same place for the same event, sharing their experience and showcasing their work. That is what I mean when I talk of the role of the artist within regeneration: what it is, could be and should be.

LINDSEY PUGH (ABOVE), CREATIVE PRODUCER, CREATIVE BARKING AND DAGENHAM Launched in August 2012, Creative Barking and Dagenham (CBD) is one of England’s 21 Arts Council England-funded Creative People and Places (CPP) projects, aimed at getting people who are based in areas of low engagement more involved in the arts. Lindsey, what has been the impact of the initiative on the borough so far? Throughout phase one of the project, 850 different creative events have taken place, 30 venues across the borough have hosted our activities, 80 community groups have been involved in the project, and more than 250 artists and arts organisations have worked with us. More than 150 residents have signed up as cultural connectors, to vote on the types of projects they would like to see and be involved with commissioning every

artist we have worked with. Also, 1,765 volunteers have helped us create great arts experiences. We have also established three new festivals: Dagfest, Thamesfest at Barking Riverside (pictured below) and a new winter light festival, Glow, which welcomed more than 2,000 visitors in November 2016. Due to the success of the first phase, CBD has been awarded a further three years of funding until 2019. What is the role of artists in an area which is undergoing major and rapid change such as Barking and Dagenham? Artists can play a critical role in developing community relationships and in celebrating the rich history of an area. They have the capacity to work in a deep, meaningful way with community groups that are facing change, to facilitate individual expression, and enrich social and cultural development that occurs within their communities.

BOLD Regeneration: the artists’ view

LIZA VALLANCE (BELOW), ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AT STUDIO 3 ARTS Studio 3 Arts is one of the UK’s leading social engagement practices and was founded 30 years ago by a group of young female students at Barking College, disappointed at the lack of opportunities for young local people to be involved in the arts. Liza, what is the idea behind your organisation? We have two main purposes: to reduce the barriers to arts participation and to support people to

use art to make sense of the world. How is this done? Most of our projects involve more than one art form and we are specialised in choosing the right one to work with the appropriate client group. For example, we have recently started work on the ‘Weaving the Gascoigne’ project: we were commissioned by East Thames Group in September 2016 to develop the public arts strategy for the new scheme at the Gascoigne estate, which is now going to be called

Weavers Quarter (above). The Weavers Quarter scheme will see 1,575 homes, a community centre and a public square built. What is in there for an arts organisation? We have assembled a steering group of 12 local people who are interested in the role of public art in a regeneration context and they are working closely with us to carry out research and public consultation events to come up with ideas on the kind of public art initiatives which would work well within the new estate. In March 2017, we will send the strategy over to East Thames, so they can integrate works of art into the development and design. A particular emphasis will be on the role creative spaces and interesting

landscaping can play in creating an idea of neighbourhood in what will be a really new community of people – there is likely to be a lot of newcomers in this development. Why do you think art is the right way to help build up a new community? Art can humanise a process and trigger conversations in ways that other forms of community engagement just cannot. What we are really clear about at Studio 3 Arts is that art doesn’t require a hierarchy or any kind of academic prerequisite to be able to take part in it. Our work is about using creativity and comfortable spaces to encourage people to talk. Ultimately, it is about building relationships, and that’s what I think art can do within regeneration.


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01 The Boathouse Carole Pluckrose

02 c2c Chris Atkinson

03 East Thames Kevin Harris

04 Glenny John Bell

05 Iceni Projects Ian Anderson

06 London & UK Property General enquiries

07 Newlon Housing Trust Joe Molloson

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BOLD Lifestyle

Better eats and full theatre seats Theatre, leisure and gastronomic improvements to Barking and Dagenham have transformed the London borough in the last few years. James Wood reports Pictured: Ballet Theatre UK brought Romeo and Juliet to The Broadway Theatre in January.

A LIVELY NIGHT-TIME offer and the opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle can contribute towards people’s decision to move and settle in an area. Though Barking and Dagenham is perhaps not known as the most fashionable part of London, residents have started to note improvements to the quality of life in the borough.

Crowded house The Broadway Theatre, which was renovated in 2004, is a major boon for Barking’s night-time offer. Designed by architect Tim Foster, first-time visitors to the town are said to often comment on the attractiveness of the glass-clad facade. The auditorium

seats 341 people and the theatre prides itself on attracting diverse audiences through its range of shows. The Upbeat Beatles performed at The Broadway in January 2017, just a few months after the release of Ron Howard’s box office hit film, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, The Touring Years. The tribute act covered


BOLD Lifestyle

the Fab Four’s trajectory through the 1960s, from their early days playing at Liverpool’s Cavern Club to performing on the rooftop of the Apple building in central London, 1969. Other events during the year’s first quarter include wrestling, tribute nights to musicians ranging from Matt Monroe to The Beach Boys, a ballet performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and a contemporary dance and visual arts show called Beyond Boundaries. Double Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Ken Loach, backed the theatre in 2012 when it faced closure. The Broadway survived and today is central to the borough’s cultural offer. It is managed by Barking and Dagenham College, where its School for the Performing Arts and Technical Theatre is located. Students make use of the facility’s recording studio and rehearsal and music technology rooms, giving them access to industry-standard equipment. Ticket prices for shows are aimed at being kept affordable, encouraging all parts of the local community to turn out for events. Food for thought The recipient of a Time Out London food award in 2016 and the winner

Pictured: Cristina’s on the high street in Barking offers prime steaks to rave reviews online.


of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence the year before, Cristina’s Steak House is one of the most popular restaurants in the borough. TripAdvisor, the online traveller advice website, is brimming with glowing reviews of the establishment, which overlooks Barking Abbey in the town centre. The menu features affordable steaks and an “untraditional” Sunday roast is also popular – trimmings with roast beef include sautéed kale, roasted butternut squash and braised cabbage. Many guests have enjoyed

Cristina’s homemade “beefed up” Scotch eggs too. The steakhouse was set up in June 2013 by Cristina Bumbuc as a response to the perceived lack of independent restaurants in the area. With its homemade signs, furniture and ‘stripped-down’ look, Cristina’s popularity has grown steadily since then, with turnover increasing year-on-year. A model cow outside the building is a draw for tourists and schoolchildren. Chris Foster, Cristina’s marketing manger,

There is a definite feeling of change in the air and you can really see how much potential there is in Barking

BOLD Lifestyle

says many people stop outside the restaurant to take selfies with the lifesized animal. “I think we have shown that people in Barking really value having a restaurant that isn’t another chain, which can really hinder the development of the area,” he says. “There is a definite feeling of change in the air and you can really see how much potential there is in Barking, just by walking down the high street. I think the area struggled for a long time in finding a sense of identity but it’s really starting to find its feet now. The council has been brilliant at offering a network of support for small business such as ours, which has really fostered a sense of community.” While there is still some way to go before Barking becomes a gastronomic hot spot, ventures such as Ezo Bistro (above, left) in the station concourse – which opened in late summer 2014 – do a roaring trade, suggesting a healthy appetite for independent cafes and restaurants. The quirky cafe’s paintings by

homeless artists bought through charity Café Art, stacked bookshelves and a variety of crepes and sandwiches persuade punters to stay. Fighting fit Another important criteria for a successfully developed area is giving residents the opportunity to stay active. National charity OnSide Youth Zone, which sets out to provide activities in deprived areas for young people, plans to create a purpose-built facility in Barking and Dagenham, named by local people as ‘Future’. It is expected to be completed in 2018 and will be located where Parsloes Park meets Porters Avenue, offering access to a range of facilities for £5 annually or 50p a visit. A planning application has been submitted. Leisure centres which have opened in the borough in recent times are successful. Barking and Dagenham Council established the Active Leisure brand in May 2011, pledging £24 million to create Dagenham’s Becontree Heath Leisure Centre,

which features two pools, a “jolly jungle” for children, a gym and exercise studios. The centre is very popular – the Amateur Swimming Association named its swimming pool as the UK’s busiest in 2014 – and annual footfall figures are 1,370,000. Barking’s Abbey Leisure Centre (above) was established in March 2015 with council investment of £14 million. It attracts 440,000 people annually and features Barking’s first luxury spa – The Abbey Spa – as well as a 140-station gym, a softplay area called The Idol – designed by Turner Prize nominee, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd – and two pools. Both centres have received a Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity award for pool safety. With improvements to the health and leisure offer starting to be matched by highly acclaimed restaurants and cafes, Barking and Dagenham is now rivalling other London boroughs as a great place for dining, exercising and socialising.


BOLD Barking-not-Berlin

Creative call Barking and Dagenham’s creative scene continues to flourish. Those responsible for the borough’s cultural boom speak to BOLD about why that is Move to Barking, not Berlin: this is Barking and Dagenham council leader, Darren Rodwell’s message to creative companies which feel they are being priced out of London and are seeking premises in other capital cities. Speaking on a working visit outside the Brandenburg Gate, the historic gateway to Germany’s capital, Rodwell says transforming Barking and Dagenham into London’s borough of culture would fulfil a long-held ambition: “Without art and culture in the bricks and mortar of a community, there is no community – it’s what brings us together and binds us. “Berlin can’t offer artists anything that London hasn’t got in spades and with our Artist Enterprise Zone I want to make sure it’s always affordable to them. That’s why I’m sure we will be hearing artists say: ‘Ich bin ein Barkinger’.”

Why Barking? 46

Liza Vallance, artistic director of Studio 3 Arts: “We’ve developed a network of 150 cultural connectors – local people who make the decisions about arts projects in the borough. So far, they have been responsible for commissioning £500,000 of arts programmes.”

Marcel Baettig, CEO of Bow Arts Trust: “We want to work with Darren [Rodwell] to create more opportunities across the borough and more support for talented young people to start their businesses, live here and make Barking an even greater arts hub.”

Carole Pluckrose, artistic director of the Boathouse: “It is about engaging with the local community and artists working together; it’s about projects that we can dream about – an empty space in which anything can happen.”

Hadrian Garrard, director of Create London: “There’s a huge amount of energy here and there is a real commitment for finding ways for artists to be here – but in a way that really benefits residents. That is not easy to do but I think the right level of commitment is here.”

Michael Cubey, executive director and head of creative workspaces at Bow Arts Trust: “I think the council has a very clear vision in acknowledging the role culture and creative industries can have

in helping transform an area. It’s really important that this is being done with a view to supporting local people’s life chances and environment – and not just surface gentrification.”

CGI of masterplan is indicative and subject to change

One of the country’s leading developers is investing for the long term in Barking and Dagenham. Look out for exciting new places and high-quality homes for everyone to enjoy.

BOLD #8  

BOLD magazine provides up to date information about the regeneration of Barking and Dagenham. This issue looks at ambitious plans for delive...

BOLD #8  

BOLD magazine provides up to date information about the regeneration of Barking and Dagenham. This issue looks at ambitious plans for delive...