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Thames Gateway: Finance

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures she is taking to facilitate the involvement of private investment funding in the Thames Gateway project; and if she will make a statement. (185482)

Significant private sector investment is already going into the Thames Gateway such as DP World’s £1.5 billion investment into the new London Gateway Port in Essex, the new high speed rail link, and development on key sites for example at Barking Riverside. In the future Crossrail will also see significant investment coming into the area.

In November 2007 the Prime Minister launched the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan setting out the Government proposals for investing in the area to help deliver the key infrastructure to create the conditions that will enable investor confidence. The plan sets out how some £9.6 billion of Government funding will be invested to support housing and economic growth along with the necessary transport improvements, schools, health care facilities and other community facilities. The Government will continue to work with private sector partners at all levels to ensure the programme benefits from their expertise and experience.

Together with this Department, the three regional development agencies are establishing a new £200 million strategic economic investment fund to support their economic development and investment plan which will identify major projects that will result in an economic step-change.

In addition, a new Pan-Gateway approach to attracting inward investment into the region is being adopted together with close co-operation with the region’s three regional development agencies and their partners to maximise the value proposition of the Gateway to potential investors.

Some £43 billion is expected to be invested by the private sector over the next 20 years on the back of the proposed investment by Government in the Thames Gateway as set out in the delivery plan.