Senior representatives from some of the UK's biggest developers joined with Barking and Dagenham Council at The Broadway Theatre on 13 April to hear about opportunities to get involved with the accelerating regeneration of the London borough.
The event, organised by 3Fox International and sponsored by developer Countryside and housing association L&Q, was attended by 187 delegates.
Council leader Darren Rodwell and chief executive Chris Naylor took to the stage to address the audience. They were joined by Richard Cherry, chief executive of partnerships at Countryside; Mark Boleat, chairman of the policy and resources committee for the City of London and Tony Pidgley CBE, who came in his capacity as chair of the London Chamber of Commerce Property and Construction Committee.
The council's leadership presented its vision for the future of the borough and the importance of attending MIPIM, the international property industry event held in Cannes from 15 to 18 March. Rodwell also spoke of the recently published sixth issue of BOLD magazine, which focuses on development and regeneration in the area, launched during the event in Cannes. He described it as a “fantastic read”.
“Today, we have some of the pillars of business and commerce to talk to you about where we should be going as a borough,” he continued. “It has been a fantastic year for the borough and we have a fantastic new chief executive [Chris Naylor] building an effective team of people around him.
“East London is the place where development in London is going to happen,” he added.
The council’s chief executive Chris Naylor said the borough was “unequivocally open for business, because we see the opportunity to grow this part of London as the borough’s greatest asset”.
“We plan to invest more in our planning and regeneration service, and we are looking for ambition and imaginativeness but also a real commitment to this place,” he added.
Key representatives of the property industry also lauded the opportunities for development in Barking and Dagenham.
Richard Cherry, chief executive, partnerships at Countryside, praised the council leadership’s vision, energy and effectiveness in getting things done and the borough’s strategic location.
Mark Boleat, chairman of the policy and resources committee at the City of London, said that the City relied a lot on the rest of London.
“The high cost of housing is a real threat to Londoners and unless we can do something about the crisis it will continue to be a big threat. [But] if everyone was doing what Barking and Dagenham is doing, then we would be some way towards solving the problem.
“People are looking at Barking and Dagenham and there is huge scope for it to become a valuable part of London’s infrastructure.”
In a survey, the vast majority of attendees described the event and its organisation as “excellent”.
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