Our commitment to regeneration: Geoff Raw: Managing Director Be First

Over the last 12 months it has become a much tougher business environment due to build cost inflation, rising interest rates and supply issues.  Consequently, we are adjusting how we operate and how we invest, and are working closely with companies in our supply chain to avoid disruption.

But importantly, our commitment to accelerate the regeneration of the Borough remains undaunted. We are weathering the storm, as we did through the Covid years, to keep building new houses, flats and business premises which can provide the homes and jobs local people need.  Industria is a great example of this.

We are also raising the profile of Barking and Dagenham as a great and creative place to live and work.  For example, we have been shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture for the House for Artists in Barking town centre.

We are also planning ahead for when the economic situation gets better, and we are lobbying government and the Mayor of London for support during these current difficult times to ensure Barking and Dagenham is on the top of their list.

This means that, for a time, we’re putting more focus on those places in the Borough that are the most economically viable such as residential build-to-rent for working households and workspaces for those parts of the economy which are still growing – such as in the new science and technology economy. We will be talking more about this early next year.

The Council and Be First remain fully committed to the regeneration of the borough and the Council will be considering two major regeneration schemes at its Cabinet meeting later this month.  Be First has supported the Council in achieving unprecedented levels of growth in the Borough.  We are ambitious to work with others and, looking forward, to support East London as one of the cradles of new economic growth for the country.

As the Leader of the Council said at the opening of Industria: “we are once again connecting the borough to the world’s global logistics network and that will create jobs and business opportunities for our community.”