The proposed scheme could see up to an estimated 500 million invested through a joint public/private sector partnership in a new town centre, with up to 2,970 new homes built and 1,141 new jobs created.
A competition was also launched today to find a partner for the intended joint venture with Thurrock Development Corporation that if approved would see 48 hectares of contaminated and derelict brownfield land brought back into use to help provide a new community for existing residents and 5,000 additional people.
The planned redevelopment of the port side Essex town is the latest part of the Governments Thames Gateway programme, and would also provide a new school and health centre, a new employment area, improved train station and transport links and better access to the river front.
Communities Secretary John Denham said:
This scheme would provide local people in Purfleet with the community facilities theyve long wanted and the homes they need. The benefits of the redevelopment would go way beyond Purfleet and provide a real boost to the Thames Gateway.
Now its for the private sector to come forward to show what can be done. Im confident well get some innovative bids from developers. Well be looking for high quality proposals that are affordable and deliver value for money for the taxpayer.
Each year Government invests 3bn in the Gateway in transport, schools, skills, businesses, health and more, an investment that is unmatched elsewhere. Our commitment to the Gateway is unwavering as we know it will play a crucial role within the UK economy driving growth across the South East and beyond.
But this regeneration can never be just about new buildings and infrastructure. It has to be about residents and communities and ensuring they are the main beneficiaries of these new opportunities.
The Thurrock Development Corporation will now invite expressions of interest in becoming a development partner before inviting formal tenders at the turn of the year. Partners will combine their own resources with the assets and expertise of the corporation to deliver the scheme. At each stage, proposals will be tested for affordability and whether they deliver value for money against the backdrop of pressure on public expenditure.
Progress has been made on a number of other schemes across the Thames Gateway thanks to the Governments continued commitment and investment.
Government money has kick-started a stalled housing scheme at Peninsula Riverside in Greenwich that will provide 229 homes and secure construction jobs. Work has also continued, thanks to Government funding, on the new Ravensbourne College campus. This will support 1,400 students when it opens.
Government support for the region has meant a number of private sector investors have looked to the Gateway as a great place to do business. Chief among this has been CEMEX who opened a new 49m cement facility in Thurrock with the potential to supply the construction industry across the South East.
Speaking at this years Thames Gateway Forum, Mr Denham also welcomed news that a new National Skills Academy for the Creative and Cultural Industries to be based in Purfleet has been given the go-head. This will train people in the technical skills in short-supply throughout the creative industry.