Purfleet is set to undergo a major regeneration project over the coming years after a £1bn plan submitted by Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd (a joint venture between Urban Catalyst and Swan Housing Association) to turn it into a media and creative destination known as ‘Purfleet on Thames’ was approved by Thurrock Council’s Planning Committee. Perhaps the centrepiece of Purfleet’s industry regeneration is a one million sq ft film, TV and creative industries complex, which, together with other commercial uses proposed, will create more than 2,000 jobs. The development of a new town centre with an upgraded rail station and improved riverside areas and access is also in the pipeline.
Up to 2,850 homes are included within the development as well as shops, restaurants, a medical centre, community facilities and a new primary school. 50% of these homes will be built using modular systems by pioneers in modular construction and one of the largest housing providers in Essex and East London, Swan Housing Association. Their partners on the Purfleet regeneration project, Urban Catalyst, are specialists in mixed-use urban regeneration projects and were behind the recent successful Bermondsey Square Development in London.
We are thrilled our Purfleet regeneration proposals have been approved, creating thousands of much needed homes, significant additional employment and supporting long-term growth in Thurrock.
Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd
Largest facility of its kind in Europe
The creative hub complex will be in close proximity to the High House Production Park already located in Purfleet. The Quartermaster Studios, a 600,000 sq ft media village featuring several film stages and production suites, are at the project’s centrepiece to accommodate the strong demand for film and TV production in the UK. It would be the largest facility of its kind in Europe and the first purpose-built studio complex of this type in the UK in 50 years.
Purfleet has already seen investment into its creative industry, with the 14-acre High House Production Park hosting the Royal Opera House, which is a production centre for national opera and ballet productions. Meanwhile, the Backstage Centre provides the teaching of practical skills for pupils who wish to work in theatre, stage, events and music productions.
This development will tap into the power of culture, creative industries and healthy living.
Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd (PCRL) founder and executive chairman of Urban Catalyst.
Driving creative growth in the East of England
In addition to the established creative facilities in Purfleet, the £1bn regeneration will help to cement the town’s reputation as a destination for creativity and forms part of the strategy for transforming the Thames Estuary into a world-leader for the creative industries known as the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, which has also received millions of pounds of government funding to invest in culture.
The parties will work together to create a thriving environment that provides much needed new homes and services, alongside significant employment and educational opportunities for the local community.
Swan Housing Association
Essex is sure to reap the rewards of such investment, and a similar project taking place in Colchester at the Knowledge Gateway has seen a brand new £12m Innovation Centre opened in April 2019 which is tailored towards businesses in the tech and digital sectors. The success of the Innovation Centre will help the University drive economic growth in the East of England as a globally recognised centre for creative industries and innovative business. The Knowledge Gateway’s Games Hub at the University of Essex has already seen five small businesses formed and spun out of the hub, with some even receiving international awards.