Thurrock is situated to the east of London on the north bank of one of the world's greatest rivers – our history was shaped by the Thames.
Thurrock has witnessed pivotal moments in British – and world – history, ranging from Queen Elizabeth I's celebrated speech at Tilbury exhorting her country to victory against the Spanish in 1588 to the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948, carrying the first arrivals from the Caribbean into Britain.
Thurrock has a rich history with evidence of human occupation which goes back to prehistoric times. Thurrock's geological and geographical position, with its proximity to London and excellent river and rail links, has meant that it is a place which is attractive to employers with industries including flint, salt and farming, ammunition, cement, oil, bricks, transportation, margarine, soap and retail; each prominent at various times in our history.
Thurrock offers connectivity between areas of significant opportunity. Thurrock is integral to the discussions around transport infrastructure, river crossings and employment-led growth, as we always have been. Our riverside location and industrial traditions distinguish Thurrock from the rest of the east of England and our supply of labour and goods into London is critical.
Change in Thurrock has historically been employment-led. People from all over the world have come to work in Thurrock and contribute to the local community. For example, the Bata factory built in East Tilbury in the early 1930's brought a Czechoslovakian workforce to Thurrock. Similarly, when Van den Bergh (now part of Unilever) moved to Thurrock, Dutch staff migrated here to work for the company. These workers were welcomed into the local community and have become an integral part of our population.
Thurrock's economy has been driven by industry with transport, logistics, port functions and retail accounting for a substantial part of the current economic landscape. For decades Thurrock has been a gateway to the rest of the world and this still holds true today – the development of the new London Gateway port by DP World is testimony to this tradition. The DP World development will change the face of Thurrock for decades to come and will form an essential ingredient in the national import and export infrastructure.
The heart of the Thames Gateway, to the east of London, this thriving borough encompasses huge swathes of green belt and 18 miles (29km) of Thames frontage. The area's unique riverside location and vast natural resources are the key to its past and future development and success.
Thurrock has national significance in a key location at the heart of major infrastructure with significant port capacity for the import and export of goods and services for the UK. Our transport links into London and the South-east are excellent and there are tremendous opportunities for growth in housing and employment.
Sixty per cent of Thurrock is green belt with many historic villages. The pressure for development and the need to ensure good quality open space compete.
Thurrock's network of busy towns and picturesque villages give us a thriving population. Alongside spaces of peace and beauty, Thurrock is home to one of the largest shopping complexes in Europe. All of this just 40 minutes by train from the heart of London. The Thames Gateway is Europe's largest regeneration programme with 50% being delivered in Thurrock). This brings many opportunities but also challenges including providing sustainable housing and infrastructure for the 26,000 new jobs that will be created by 2021.
To ensure that growth in employment and homes can be sustainable Thurrock will need to provide the facilities and infrastructure that make communities work. Currently the total housing stock in Thurrock is 63,855 of which approximately 50,000 are in the private sector. The council owned stock is 10, 322.
Thurrock is changing fast. Our population is projected to increase and age further over the next twenty five years. Our communities are also becoming more diverse. With the growth agenda, comes the challenge of providing new homes, new jobs and increasing demand for public services, facilities and supporting infrastructure.
We cannot deliver this vision all at once so, with our partners, we have developed priorities for action.
For more information, please visit our Profile of Thurrock.
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