Coming soon! London’s Hollywood hotel

Building work is underway on a new 78 room hotel in the heart of the area set to become London’s Hollywood.

The new Travelodge in Dagenham East will be just yards from the site of the soon-to-be largest film studios in London.

The hotel is being built by Barnes Construction through a funding agreement with Berkeley Square Developments on behalf of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s pioneering regeneration company.  It will also feature retail accommodation on the ground floor and a stand-alone Costa Coffee drive through.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, visited the site today with Tony O’Brien, UK Development Director of Travelodge Hotels, Ed Skeates, Development Director of Be First, Jonathan Carkeet of Berkeley Square Developments Limited and Bob Steward of Barnes Construction.

Councillor Rodwell said: “This hotel will be across the road from what is set to be London’s largest film studios. The new hotel and the studios mean hundreds of jobs for local people in London’s Hollywood, from the hotel industry and construction workers to set designers, electricians and carpenters.

“Who knows, once it’s built, you could even catch a glimpse of east end movie stars like Idris Elba filming next door!”

Tony O’Brien, UK Development Director of Travelodge said: “We have undertaken a number of deals with Local Authorities who recognise that a Travelodge hotel can help unlock regeneration sites. With a film studio next door that will attract visitors from around the World I am sure the Dagenham Travelodge will soon become one of our most visited hotels in London.”

Jonathan Langham, Head of Commercial Development of Be First, which is the development manager of the project, said: “Travelodge has made a commitment to Dagenham because they recognise the star qualities of the area. They know Dagenham is not just about Fords and factories, it’s about films and embracing the tech industries – the new digital Dagenham.”

Jonathan Carkeet of Berkeley Square Developments said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Travelodge and Be First to deliver this important new hotel and retail scheme.  Berkeley Square have invested in Dagenham for the last 5 years and are excited by the changes in the Borough, and appreciate the collaborative approach of the Local Authority, who are keen to work with developers and investors.”

Bob Steward of Barnes Construction commented: “We are delighted to be playing a part in this high-profile scheme. In recent years, we have successfully delivered over than 3,500 rooms for Travelodge Hotels throughout the UK; but none which will be quite such a pull for those involved in the film industry.”

Development Framework winners named

Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s pioneering regeneration company, has today (28 January) named the three companies that will join the second Lot of its new Development Framework for major projects of £10 million and over.

They are:

  • McLaren Construction Ltd
  • Wilmott Dixon Construction Ltd
  • Wates Residential

Iain Ferguson, Commercial Director at Be First, said: “We are happy to announce the winners of Lot 2 of our Development Framework.

“We have now completed the set. These three winners and the four companies selected in Lot 1 are now part of our drive to deliver thousands of affordable homes for local people.

“It was an exhaustive selection process and the competition was fierce, but now we are able to pick up the pace of delivery to restore Barking and Dagenham to its historic position as the place for working Londoners to find a high quality affordable home.”

As part of the Lot 2 tender process McLaren Construction Ltd has been awarded the contract to build one of Be First’s flagship projects, Crown House.

Kevin Taylor, Chairman at McLaren, said: “We look forward to working with Be First and the people of Barking and Dagenham to help bring to life the ambitions for the borough.”

Together the Lot 1 and 2 projects are worth almost £1 billion and cover Be First’s development projects and related infrastructure schemes.

The framework is also available for access by other Contracting Authorities.

Iain Ferguson said: “Councils using our framework agreements will be able to access top quality construction companies who have demonstrated capability through our intensive selection process.”

East London hidden gem unearthed and polished

Improvements have been made to a memorial of a Thames shipping disaster as part of drive to bring back to life one of east London’s hidden gems.

The works included cleaning a mural commemorating the sinking of the SS Princess Alice in River Road, Barking, and improving signage to a riverside greenspace along Barking Creek where it meets the Thames.

The SS Princess Alice disaster took place in 1878 near where The Thames meets Barking Creek.

Over 650 lives were lost when the boat collided with the collier Bywell Castle. It is the greatest loss of life of any British inland waterway shipping disaster.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “We feel this part of Barking Creek is one of east London’s hidden gems.

“The views of The Thames along the riverside green are stunning and the SS Princess Alice memorial is little known.

“These works are about recognising an important part of London history and improving walking routes so people can enjoy a healthier lifestyle.”

The improvements are part of a wider programme to improve roads and pavements and street furniture refurbishment by Be First.

Caroline Harper, Chief Planner at Be First, said: “These works demonstrate Be First’s approach. We’re building on our proud past while investing in our future to make a better Barking and Dagenham.”