Town Regeneration Boosted by Investment

Purfleet-on-Thames has received a multimillion-pound boost from the UK Government to help support the regeneration of its town centre.

The town centre has secured £75 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF). This funding will also assist in bringing forward thousands of new homes, supporting local jobs and will help Purfleet-on-Thames become safer, greener, and healthier.

HIF bid proposals were submitted to Homes England in 2018 by Thurrock Council in conjunction with development partner Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited, a joint venture (JV) between Swan Housing Association and developer Urban Catalyst, and with these two working together they are creating a vibrant new riverside community.

The funding will be used by Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd (PCRL) to pay for infrastructure provisions in the early phases of the development, including new roads and a pedestrian and vehicular bridge over the railway line. The funding will also support land acquisition, remediation and site preparation works.

Work has now started on the HIF-funded infrastructure preparatory work and the main infrastructure works will commence in February 2021 and will continue for approximately three years. The green light was given to the regeneration’s first phase in January this year, consisting of 61 new high-quality family homes and a children’s play area. This first phase will also reinstate public access to Hollow Woods and will form part of the development which has been designed to enhance the green links to Purfleet’s Conservation Area. Preliminary works are anticipated to start on site in early 2021.

Once completed, the £1bn regeneration of Purfleet-on-Thames will deliver a new town centre complete with shops and restaurants and new railway station. Up to 2,850 new homes will be provided as well, alongside an Integrated Medical Centre, improved transport infrastructure and a new primary school.

The plans, approved in December 2019, also include a 1 million sq. ft. ‘media village’ to support the UK’s booming TV and film industry. This will help Purfleet-on-Thames on its journey to becoming a leading creative hub, with the town already being home to High House Production Park and Royal Opera House production workshops.

Later phases will deliver a higher/further education campus creating leading facilities with a focus on health and the creative arts.

Sir Tim Laurence, chairman of PCRL, said: “The HIF funding is a major milestone in the regeneration of Purfleet-on-Thames. It will allow us to upgrade the town’s transport links and pave the way for us to deliver thousands of new high quality homes.

“Infrastructure investment like this will be crucial to unlocking the potential of regeneration projects across the UK and to meeting the government’s ambitious house-building targets.

“We look forward to starting on site with the infrastructure works in 2021 and moving one step closer to realising our vision for a greener, healthier and safer Purfleet-on-Thames.”

Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure.  Our multimillion-pound funding in the Purfleet-on-Thames scheme will help to address the complex infrastructure requirements and constraints associated with the development. This will in turn help unlock the housing sites and allow the Council and its development partner PCRL to deliver their vision for the town centre and much needed housing growth.”

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