Barking and Dagenham’s regeneration takes off


Many of London’s major future regeneration zones are in the east and south-east of the capital – outside the centre. One such regeneration zone currently at the top of the agenda is that of Barking and Dagenham.

Designated as a national priority area for urban regeneration, in the spring Budget in 2021 it was announced that Barking and Dagenham would be the only borough in the capital to claim access to a freeport zone – a specially designated economic area that is expected to create an additional 25,000 jobs in the borough.

The exciting regeneration opportunities extend far beyond this though. With the capital’s biggest film and TV production campus, a £300m complex called Eastbrook Studios, currently under construction in Barking and Dagenham, the borough has been labelled ‘London’s Hollywood’. Black Widow, the 2021 Marvel Studios blockbuster starring Scarlett Johansson, was partly made in Dagenham, and film bosses are phoning the council to earmark studios for future production. In addition, the City of London’s historic wholesale markets – Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields - are set to co-locate to Dagenham Dock in a move that would create the largest wholesale market in the UK, due to open in 2027.

These exciting new openings will help to stimulate a transformative level of job opportunities and Barking and Dagenham residents will share in the benefits of this increased prosperity. Knight Frank predicts that average disposable income in the borough will rise 51% over the next decade, while growth in GVA, a measure of goods and services produced in an area, is expected to climb around a fifth.

Supporting this, a ‘glow-up’ of Barking and Dagenham’s transport links is also anticipated in 2022, with both the Elizabeth Line and Overground extension to Barking Riverside set to open. With a whole host of new businesses, job prospects and high-speed transport links, forecasts suggest the population of the borough is set to grow by 13% over the next decade, meaning housebuilders and developers building in the area are seeing their properties being snapped up quickly.

One such site seeing high demand is Fresh Wharf, Countryside’s new waterside development situated on the banks of the River Roding and just ten minutes’ walk from Barking town centre. Fresh Wharf is providing 911 new homes along with new shops, cafes and parks on an 11-acre brownfield site. Swift House, a newly launched collection of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom riverside apartments at Fresh Wharf, offers London Help to Buy, of which is ending in 2023. Teal Point is also launching 132 apartment in summer of 2022 which will offer 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments.

Alternatively, for those seeking to put down roots in this up-and-coming borough, Countryside and L&Q’s Beam Park regeneration scheme exemplifies the regeneration taking place in Barking and Dagenham.  A 3,000-home project on the site of the old Ford manufacturing site, Beam Park will also deliver new schools, parks, a nursery, shops and multiple community spaces, creating a brand-new community with green space on its doorstep. Like Fresh Wharf, Beam Park also offers London Help to Buy at their recently launched Portland House, offering 1- and 2-bedroom apartments perfect for taking your first step on the property ladder