Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd (PCRL) has welcomed the chancellor’s pledge for £75m of Housing Infrastructure Funding to support the £1bn regeneration of Purfleet-on-Thames town centre, which will help transform the Essex town into a world-class creative hub.
The funding will be used to provide vital infrastructure including replacing the level crossing with a bridge over the railway and a new health centre, river wall, drainage and other important utility infrastructure.
Bid proposals for the redevelopment were submitted in 2018 by Thurrock Council, who are working with development partner PCRL, a joint venture between Swan Housing Association and mixed-use regeneration and social infrastructure specialists Urban Catalyst. Together, the two organisations are creating a vibrant new riverside community in Purfleet-on-Thames.
Once completed, the £1bn regeneration will deliver a new town centre complete with shops and restaurants. 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 April last year, also include a 1m 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 workshop.
Later phases will deliver a new university campus, with a focus on health and the creative arts.
The green light was given to the regeneration’s first phase in January, consisting of 61 new high-quality family homes, a children’s play area, and an orchard walk. This phase will reinstate public access to Hollow Woods and will form part of the 2.36-hectare development which has been designed to enhance the green links to Purfleet’s Conservation Area. Preliminary works are anticipated to start on site this summer.
Urban Catalyst specialises in social infrastructure and complex mixed-use urban regeneration projects. Set up by industry veteran Ken Dytor, the firm is behind a string of successful projects, including the Bermondsey Square development in London, which delivered new retail, hotel and offices alongside performing arts space and art house cinema.
Swan Housing Association is one of the largest housing providers in Essex and East London, with over 11,000 homes under management and a further 8,500 homes in the pipeline, including the 2,850 planned for Purfleet-on-Thames.
Sir Tim Laurence, chairman of PCRL, said: "The chancellor’s pledge of £75m towards key elements of the regeneration of Purfleet-on-Thames, including a bridge over the railway, a new integrated medical centre and other social infrastructure, is a huge vote of confidence. It demonstrates that infrastructure investment is not just about the big flagship projects like HS2, it’s also about making a real difference to peoples’ lives here in the Thames Estuary and in other regions of the UK. This is a prime example of the government, local authority and private sector working together at all levels to unlock the huge growth potential in this fast-developing area."