Royal Albert Docks must not repeat Canary Wharf jobs mistake

The proposed development of the Royal Albert Dock (pic: HayesDavidson)

The proposed development of the Royal Albert Dock (pic: HayesDavidson) - Credit: HayesDavidson

The Royal Albert Dock regeneration must learn from mistakes made by Canary Wharf in order to provide much-needed jobs for the community.

That was the view of the Regeneration Committee, who met at City Hall on Thursday to discuss the development, which will be 80 per cent office space.

Advanced Business Parks (ABP), which will develop the docks has said that it wants the site to complement the Canary Wharf and city business centres rather than compete with them.

But Gareth Bacon AM, who chaired the committee, warned that people in Tower Hamlets were let down by Canary Wharf providing “white collar jobs” in a “blue collar area”.

“Local people in Canary Wharf didn’t benefit because local people couldn’t do those jobs,” he said.

The dock development, which is expected to take up to 20 years to complete, could bring up to 20,000 jobs according to the Greater London Authority.

Developers ABP are hoping to open up to Asian markets while attracting owners with offices priced around 50 pc of West End sites.

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The focus for the site will be on the financial, life science and high-tech industries in response to Chinese demand.

And the project is expected by ABP to contribute up to £6billion to the UK economy.

As well as office space, the site will include supporting retail and leisure facilities and a main street for businesses.

But Gareth Bacon AM maintained that the true measure of the project’s success will be whether or not it generates jobs for people local to Newham.

“If, in 30 years’ time, local people can’t access jobs then it will have been a failure,” he said.

The next public regeneration meeting wil be held in Committee Room Five at City Hall on March 10 at 10am.