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Access key to unlocking the Gateway

Crossrail vital to link homes and workplaces

A national conference of urban regeneration experts today heard how proposed East-West rail-link Crossrail is the urgent and vital key to unlocking potential in the Thames Gateway.

The Regenex conference on sustainability and regeneration, at London’s Earls Court, heard from Irving Yass, Director of Policy at influential business organisation London First, and prominent business leaders Will McKee (Chairman of Tilfen Land) and Sunny Crouch OBE (Director of Capital and Provident).

Irving Yass said:

“Most of the investment in the Thames Gateway, in both commercial and residential development, will be by the private sector. Planners cannot decide where developers will invest. They have to create attractive places, where people will want to live and work. The Gateway needs sustainable communities, not lifeless dormitories. Key to this is accessibility.”

Will McKee said:

“Without adequate transport infrastructure, the regeneration of the Thames Gateway will be a job half done. To address the acute housing shortage in London, the rate of construction in the Thames Gateway has to be increased from 5,000 to 16,000 new homes per year. That will not, cannot be achieved without Crossrail.”

Sunny Crouch said:

“With some of the highest levels of poverty and unemployment in the UK, a major issue facing the Thames Gateway is how to help people out of deprivation. To do that, we need to provide opportunities. London’s forecast employment growth will be mainly in Canary Wharf, the City and the West End. With most of the population growth settling in the Gateway region, we must link these people to jobs. This means that education and training are important as is transport in enhancing opportunities for our people.”

For further information please contact Graham Capper on 020 7665 1505 / 07983 611 227

Notes to Editors

Crossrail is the proposed east–west London rail link running from Maidenhead and Heathrow through central London to Abbey Wood and Shenfield. It will link the West End, City and Isle of Dogs with the Thames Gateway.

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.”

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