From left to right is Lily Kwong, Councillor Darren Rodwell and Pat Murphy

Construction of a ‘garden style’ industrial development got underway by the Thames this week.

Once completed, ‘Industria’ will be the first multi-storey light industrial development to be built in the UK and it will also feature two ‘living walls’, helping create a more sustainable space for industry to grow and develop.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, who helped kick off the building work in Thames Road, Barking, said: “Industria will host a huge range of makers and creators, all ready to generate a new industrial revolution down by the river, at the same time as providing hundreds of new jobs and opportunities for local people.”

Industria is supported by £1 million of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, delivered through the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), alongside Barking and Dagenham Council’s investment of £37 million.

Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The Mayor and I are determined to use the Good Growth Fund to challenge preconceptions about how regeneration takes place, which is why we are pleased to be supporting this new innovative, sustainable development that will provide hundreds of new jobs and opportunities for local people. Industria is a great example of positive collaboration between the public and private sectors and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the community.”

The development will house tenants in flexible units arranged around a vehicle accessible multi-storey hub. The experience for visitors and neighbours will be enhanced by green walls, business lounge, lively shopfronts and a new local café.

Other key features include:
• Four storey core buildings arranged each side of the courtyard
• Flexible light industrial units from 1700-5200 sq. ft (160-475 sq. m) and flatted factory units from 140-2500 sq. ft (15-230 sq. m)
• Goods lifts and vehicle ramp with vehicle access across three floors
• Business centre, meeting rooms and staffed reception
• Fully glazed ground floor shop units with a cafe open to the public
• On-site parking and cycle parking
• Excellent BREEAM rating for sustainability and environmental impact
• Top quality landscaping
• An estimated 350-300 people employed on site

Lily Kwong, development manager at Be First, said: “Industria will be the first development of its kind built in the UK. It will be a beacon of sustainable industrial development, providing high-quality modern space which will enable business to thrive in Barking riverside.”

Patrick Murphy, Operations Director at McLaren said: “We look forward to working with Be First and the people of Barking and Dagenham to deliver an exceptional attractive and sustainable industrial development.”

Hugo Braddick of architects Haworth Tompkins said: “Industria’ is one of our most exciting projects; it responds to the new demand for sustainable industrial space at increased density. Using innovative spatial solutions and progressive green landscaping infrastructure it will create a multi-level working neighbourhood for 300 people within one building, with vehicle access to every floor.”

The building of Industria is expected to be completed by February 2023.