David Suchet backs revamp plans for Canning Town’s Cody Dock
A plan to regenerate the neglected Cody Dock in Canning Town has been stepped up after actor David Suchet and East Ham MP Stephen Timms offered support.
The Poirot star has urged people to donate to a project that will transform the “hidden gem” into a hub for artists, hikers, and nature-lovers.
The Gasworks Dock Partnership, the charity behind the scheme, aims to collect lots of small donations from as many people as possible.
And campaigners, led by former artist Simon Myers, have set an ambitious target to raise �140,000 and re-open the area before the Olympics. It is currently hidden by industrial estates
Mr Suchet said: “One of London’s most historic docks currently sits behind lock and key in a neglected corner of the capital.
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“Opening Cody Dock will complete an epic 26-mile walk along the Lea. London has a wonderful network of waterways that allow people to explore and relax amid the metropolitan bustle.
“Cody Dock is the missing piece in the jigsaw.
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“I hope people will dig deep so we can unlock it for all to enjoy.”
The 2.5 acre scheme would be the first revamp of the raw Lower Lea Valley.
It will feature tranquil gardens and wildlife habitats, surrounded by a metallic jungle of gas holders, pipework, and distant skyscrapers.
A new swingbridge will allow walkers and cyclists to cross the dock.
It is also London’s first development project to try ‘crowd-funding’ its plans via the website Spacehive.com, which enables people to support projects hit by the economic downturn.
Mr Timms said the project would help to revive Newham.
“Cody Dock is a hidden gem,” he said.
“Bypassed by successive regeneration initiatives, it is now set to be transformed into a vibrant, creative place, generating dozens of jobs.
“It is also pioneering a ‘crowd-sourcing’ model of community-based fundraising, alongside the local authority, business and philanthropic support.”