Building work started today on the latest phase of one of London’s largest regeneration developments.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, visited the site to meet staff, recruited locally, who are now working for contractors Willmott Dixon.

Cllr Rodwell said: “It’s great to see work start on more affordable homes for local people. And it’s fantastic to meet so many local people helping to build the new Gascoigne neighbourhood.

“It’s a great example of the scale and pace of work that our regeneration organisation, Be First, is achieving – delivering more affordable homes and creating opportunities. Together we’re really making it happen.”

Muhammed Irbaz Ali, who is from Dagenham and is an Apprentice Document Controller at Willmott Dixon, said: “To be able to be directly involved in the regeneration of my local area, knowing that it will positively impact current and future generations, is something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.”

The ground-breaking ceremony coincided with the publication by Be First of their progress report, called Making it Happen, which provides details of its work building new homes and creating jobs in the local economy.

Cllr Rodwell was also joined by Chris Tredget, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon and Lord Kerslake, Chairman of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration arm.

Lord Kerslake said: “Be First has made great strides since it was set up in late 2017. We are delivering hundreds of homes for local people with thousands more in the pipeline. And through our development programme nearly a thousand local people are employed in helping to build a better borough. It’s clear, we’re really making it happen in Barking and Dagenham.”

Chris Tredget of Willmott Dixon said: “We are delighted to start work on the next phase at Gascoigne East, providing a further 124 high quality homes for the people of Barking. Sustainability is at the heart of this project and we’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with the local community.”

Tom Mather said: “The new homes on this site are part of our main mission to accelerate growth and deliver real regeneration. We’re well on our way to complete nearly 10,000 homes within ten years.”

The homes consist of 32 one bedroom, 50 two-bedroom, 36 three-bedroom and six four-bedroom flats with rents starting from £168 a week at today’s prices (2022/23).

Building work is set to be finished in the Autumn of 2023.

To view a short video on Be First’s progress report click here or to read the report click here