The news that Dagenham Heathway has been granted £10.8m in the second round of the government’s Levelling Up funding bid has been welcome despite disappointment of another bid for Barking Town Centre not receiving funding.
Be First, our regeneration company on behalf of the council submitted two bids - one for Barking Town Centre (£20m) and one for Dagenham Heathway (£10.88m). Eight bids in London were successful and one of these was Dagenham Heathway – for the full amount.
Welcoming the Heathway funding announcement, the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “While we welcome this much needed boost for Dagenham Heathway, we are disappointed our bid for Barking Town Centre was unsuccessful.”
Dagenham Heathway is the second largest town centre in the borough and currently offers a poor experience for visitors. In 2020 the Council purchased the Heathway Shopping Centre which has a housing estate (Millard Terrace) above it. The bid was designed based on consultation and public engagement including through a ‘My Heathway’ shop. The bid aims to make the town centre fit for the 21st Century.
Cllr Rodwell added, “Our borough is one of the most deprived in the country and needs investment to compliment what we are already doing – building more homes, bringing inward investment and raising the aspirations of our residents. We will continue to make a case for more money for the borough.
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 funding would facilitate a development opportunity which will generate: 316 new homes, 4,828 sqm of new commercial units and safeguard 241 jobs and public realm and streetscape improvements.
As part of plans to reduce carbon emissions and make the borough healthier and greener, there will also be plans for new and improved pedestrian and cycle paths, with additional measures to improve and calm traffic in the area.
To bring forward the redevelopment of Millard Terrace a ballot of residents will be required. Since the bid was submitted a ‘Test of Opinion’ was taken and 75% of tenants were in favour of redevelopment.