New rental homes are coming to Barking, as part of the next phase of the regeneration of the Gascoigne neighbourhood. Councillor Ashraf, Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, joined a local apprentice on site, alongside contractors Willmott Dixon, to celebrate breaking ground on this £36.1m project.

This new block will deliver an additional 102 new homes to the eastern side of the Gascoigne neighbourhood and will complement the award-winning regeneration of the whole neighbourhood to create more – and better-quality – housing, of a variety of sizes and in a safer, healthier, and more sustainably designed environment.

The ground-breaking involved Deputy Council Leader, Saima Ashraf and local apprentice Muhammed Irbaz Ali, Apprentice Document Controller at Willmott Dixon. The project is being carried out by Willmott Dixon, and the homes will be built utilising offsite construction for products such as utility pods and the plant room to ensure accelerated delivery and to reduce carbon emissions throughout the process.

The new homes add to the 650 homes already being delivered by Be First on the eastern side of the Gascoigne neighbourhood. Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said:

“We are committed to building new high-quality homes for the people and communities in Barking and Dagenham, and this latest phase of the development at Gascoigne will provide some much-needed rental accommodation.

“As part of our mission to increase jobs and boost opportunities in the area, we’ve ensured several apprentices are hired across the regeneration of Gascoigne Estate. So far, the combined time of apprentices working on site is a total of 192 weeks, providing training, employment, and skills development opportunities for local residents.

“This project is part of our wider commitment to build 50,000 new homes by 2037 across the borough. We look forward to seeing the development become reality and further increasing our supply of good quality housing in the borough.”

Steve Kitchen, Director at Willmott Dixon said:

“We’re delighted to have started on site delivering further homes for Be First and the Gascoigne neighbourhood. Ensuring that we’re providing opportunities for our apprentices and the wider community throughout the project is incredibly important to us. We want to make sure that we leave a positive legacy for the community of Barking and providing apprenticeships, work experience and jobs, is one of the ways we can do this.”

Muhammed Irbaz Ali, Apprentice Document Controller at Willmott Dixon said:
“Working on site and being able to be directly involved in the regeneration of Barking is something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of. It’s a fantastic opportunity for my career in construction and I look forward to continuing my learning and seeing how the project progresses.”

Be First’s mission is to accelerate regeneration within the borough, prioritising growth and harnessing the economic benefits to improve the lives of residents. This community-driven programme of housing delivery will make Barking and Dagenham – less than 30 mins from central London – an increasingly attractive and prosperous place to live, work, and raise their families.

Be First has invested £75m in local construction companies and created jobs for over 900 local people so far.