Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales on the redevelopment of the Royal Docks


- Credit: Archant

Life sometimes comes full circle and that is exactly what is happening with the Royal Docks where our vision of the future is about to become reality.

At their height, the docks employed 20,000 people and were a hub for trade with countries on the other side of the world. Soon they will return to life as a centre for 21st Century entrepreneurs.

Our announcement with ABP of a £1 billion state-of-the-art business district in the docks will create at least 20,000 jobs, forge new trade links with China and secure billions of pounds of inward investment. It is the biggest single investment made by China in the UK and proves Newham is emerging as a world-class business destination.

With an abundance of land for development, world-class transport and digital infrastructure, and a young, energetic workforce, the borough is ideally placed to accommodate much of London’s eastwards growth in the 21st Century.

Already home to London City Airport, the University of East London, ExCeL London exhibition centre, the landmark Siemens Crystal, the Emirates Airline cable car and now this exciting partnership with ABP, Newham has proven that we are committed to working with our partners and investors to unlock the extraordinary potential of the area.

But development does not happen by accident. And regeneration means nothing if it does not transform the lives of local people. We have learned the lessons from the Canary Wharf development which left the local community locked out. The huge benefits this deal brings for our residents cannot be overstated. It will provide thousands of new jobs and enhance the waterfront for people to enjoy.

Newham will be working closely with ABP and their UK development partner, Stanhope, to ensure that as many of these jobs as possible are accessible to local residents. Our successful Workplace jobs brokerage scheme is ideally placed to ensure this happens.

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Future generations of Newham resident already have a head start. At Kingsford Community School in Beckton they have the first Confucius Classroom in London where pupils learn Mandarin as a business language.

We have made a commitment to ABP that we will work hard to make this a reality; everyone involved wants to progress quickly. This, together with the proposed International India Centre development at UEL means Newham is once again the first port of call for Asia.

The Royal Docks will once again increase the life chances of many of our residents. People hoping for better times talk about ‘one day when my ship comes in’. Well, that day isn’t far off.