A year on from the launch of Thames Estuary 2025, led by Sir John Armitt, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire addressed delegates at the Generating Good Growth in the Thames Estuary Conference today (17th July).
Echoing ambitious plans made by Sir John Armitt, including that of visions to build at least one million new homes, generating £190bn in extra growth by 2050, Brokenshire credits housing as being one of the “top domestic priorities” to building communities.
The Communities Secretary continues to reference the building of 1,500 new homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City.
“Housing is, on so many levels, the key to unlocking a better life.
“But as I’ve said, many times before, this isn’t about building more homes. It’s about building communities”, Brokenshire said.
During his speech, he continues to announce the sum of £4.85m to local partners to support the development of low-cost transport options between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet, with a further investment of over £290m in 41 projects to generate the “jobs and growth the area needs.”
This also aligns with the vison as previously pitched by Sir John Armitt to provide a further 1.3m jobs in the area.
Brokenshire also confirms plans to revitalise town centres across the country through a £675 million Future High Streets Fund – announcing that Chatham and Dartford have been among those shortlisted for funding.
“As we build more homes and grow new communities, we need to think not just about today’s priorities, but about the legacy we’re leaving for our children and their children by respecting the Estuary’s outstanding natural beauty – by leaving it cleaner and greener than we found it”, said Brokenshire.
He continues to urge that the success of these plans will depend on a “coordinated” effort across the region.
“All of us – central and local government, businesses, those engaged in voluntary partnerships – have a stake in the Estuary’s future – particularly those on the ground.
“And I want to see local stakeholders really come together to advocate for the Estuary with one voice at a regional level and support the new independent champion once they’re appointed in the autumn.
“I look forward to working with all of you to make sure that we fully grasp that potential and turn that vision of our Thames Estuary into a reality”, Brokenshire added.