• Successful bid confirmed in second round of Government’s Levelling Up Fund
• Major development to rejuvenate Dagenham Heathway in consultation with local community
• Projects will deliver improved public realm, 316 new homes and protect 241 jobs
Be First, the council’s successful regeneration and development body, will push ahead with a groundbreaking scheme to reinvigorate Dagenham, after securing funding on behalf of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, through the Government’s highly competitive Levelling Up Fund.
The news comes hot on the heels of wider housing and improvement projects in the borough which has already seen significant investment through Be First with new homes and commercial opportunities including two film studios and the three markets of London – leading to Barking and Dagenham being known as “one of London’s biggest growth opportunities”.
The £10.9m funding will be used to breathe new life into the Heathway by replacing tired and dilapidated housing in Millard Terrace and creating 5000sqm of new commercial space alongside 316 new affordable homes and the creation of a new centre for Dagenham Heathway. The proposals will be developed in close consultation with residents, businesses and community organisations.
As part of plans to reduce carbon emissions and make the borough healthier and greener, there will also be a focus on new and improved pedestrian and cycle paths, with additional measures to improve and calm traffic in the area.
Cllr Darren Rodwell commented: “This is great news for Dagenham and the borough. The Heathway is long overdue a makeover. Be First’s successful bid will see it transformed with new shops, homes and a centre that will make it more of a destination for local shoppers. And it shows yet again we are delivering on our promises to provide much-needed high-quality, affordable homes. But truth be told, this is a drop in the ocean. We need far more government investment if levelling up is to be more than just a token gesture.”
Speaking as the funding was announced, Be First Managing Director Kevin O’Brien said: “We are delighted that the Government has recognised the strong case for investment in the Dagenham Heathway project, which was based on recommendations from the High Streets Task Force and has strong support locally.
“This latest project supports our mission to deliver 50,000 new homes across the borough and, more importantly, rejuvenate the local town centre for the people, businesses and local community – with plans to increase pedestrian walkways and make the borough more environmentally friendly.”
The grant will support the preliminary stages of bringing forward a future development at the Heathway; the project is still in its early stages. It will take some time for a redevelopment to come forward given the scale and the ongoing public engagement that will be central to this. The public realm works will be completed by 2025.