BBP Regeneration were part of a team identifying economic and property development opportunities for one of the largest industrial Business Improvement Districts (BID) in the country. The BID comprises around 300 businesses including Tesco, Wincanton, Tilda Rice and the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME), and is a designated Strategic Industrial Location. The BID is also within the Mayor’s London Riverside Opportunity Area, stretching east-west along the Thames through the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering.
BBP’s work was required to reflect the spatial and sectoral advantages of the BID area, the government’s public sector land disposal programme (much of the land was in the GLA’s ownership), property market conditions, demographics, and the wishes of stakeholders – including local landowners, businesses and the GLA. We also ensured that we took account of competition from neighbouring employment areas in Barking and Thurrock, including engaging with representatives from LB Barking and Dagenham and Ford to understand their intentions and identify areas of mutual interest.
The team put forward three broad options to deliver economic growth, testing these through extensive stakeholder consultation in order to secure support for a preferred option. The options were underpinned by detailed property market and socio-economic analysis, with a particular focus on assessing the demand for incubation and grow-on workspace for SMEs. This focus had strong grounding in national, regional and local policy, but would require greater intervention and partnership working by the public sector. Eventually, we worked with the Council to bolster the business case for intervention by the GLA, a major local landowner, in order to secure maximum economic growth from their landholding. Bidders for the GLA’s land portfolio were subsequently required to demonstrate how they would “diversify the mix of occupiers to increase the number of local jobs in the area”.