This timely conference is bringing together key stakeholders with policymakers to examine the next steps for growth in the Thames Estuary region of east London, south Essex and north Kent.
It is timed to follow the Government’s response to the Thames Estuary Growth Commission report, which is due to be published soon.
Delegates will discuss the future for major infrastructure projects in the region, with discussion expected on new rail links including Crossrail and progress on the Lower Thames Crossing.
They will assess next steps for housing, including measures to accelerate housing delivery to respond to increased demand and demographic change, whilst providing accessibility to transport and jobs, and potential sites for new homes.
There will be discussion on priorities for stimulating economic growth, including ensuring the Estuary region is not left behind as other high-growth corridors expand, addressing regional growth disparities in the Estuary, and creating new ‘productive places’ which strengthen existing sectors and encourage emerging ones.
We also expect discussion on next steps for the creative industries, following the announcement that the Thames Estuary production corridor will receive £4.3m, with the aim of making the Estuary the world’s largest creative corridor, with a Creative Estuary programme aiming at delivering 50,000 new jobs and adding £3.1bn to the UK economy.
Further sessions focus on education, employment and skills, including opportunities for building on the skills legacy from major infrastructure schemes, and strengthening the links between the LEP, employers, business and schools to provide pathways from school to employment.
Attendees will also consider the future for governance following the Commission’s recommendations for a strengthened and streamlined Thames Gateway Strategic Group, and statutory Joint Spatial Plans in Kent and Essex.