A bid backed by Thurrock Council to create a Thames Freeport that will deliver transformational change across the entire borough, create thousands of new jobs and see unprecedented investment has been successful following a government announcement today (3 March).
The joint bid by DP World and Forth Ports in partnership with Ford and Thames Enterprise Park will see a Thames Freeport, with Thurrock at its heart, attract billions in private sector investment over the next 25 years.
Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr Rob Gledhill said: "I am over the moon that the government has once again backed Thurrock and our partners. A Thames Freeport will unlock countless opportunities and deliver real transformational change for those that live and work in the borough. Our residents will have access to specialist training and new jobs with higher pay levels all within the local area.
"This is much more than just port jobs, the Thames Freeport will bring opportunity after opportunity for generations to come. Thurrock is already the ports capital of the UK, a Thames Freeport will now make it the heart of the Thames too."
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Cabinet member for regeneration and strategic planning, added: "I would like to thank the government for once again recognising Thurrock's potential and its role, not just within the regional but also the national economy. Ports are in Thurrock's DNA and this offers up a unique opportunity to level-up communities, bring new benefits to the residents in the borough and cement Thurrock as the ports capital of the UK.
"It could generate more than 25,000 direct jobs and up to another 20,000 indirect job opportunities across countless industries including aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and processing right here on our doorstep. Thurrock will be more attractive to investors, businesses and entrepreneurs and home to more opportunities for our residents than ever before. I look forward to working with our partners and the government to develop a robust business case for the Thames Freeport."
The bid was also backed by local MPs and many businesses, alongside Barking and Dagenham Council, Be First, Essex Chamber of Commerce, Urban Catalyst (member of Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited), London First, Opportunity South Essex, the Port of London Authority, the Rail Freight Group, the Thames Estuary Growth Board, Thurrock Business Board, Transport East and the South East LEP and others.