Development agencies asked for twice the £210m grant announced at Thames Gateway Forum
Agencies set up to drive housing development in the Thames Gateway have received only half the funding they have asked for, it has emerged.
Under a funding package revealed last week at the Thames Gateway Forum, the two development corporations in the areas will receive more than £210m in grant to carry out their programme for two years.
Neither body will say officially how much they bid for. However, sources close to them have confirmed the funding is about half of what they had told the government was required.
The two bodies, the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, have been set up to drive the construction of almost 60,000 of the 160,000 homes for the Gateway. The settlement will see the London corporation receive £120m between 2008 and 2011, and the Thurrock body £90m for the same period.
But Will McKee, chair of the Thurrock corporation, said: “Funding doesn’t equal the targets in the timescales we've been given. In a private company, you would just adjust what you are asked to achieve according to resources – this would not be acceptable.”
Peter Andrews, chief executive of the London body, said: “There isn't much in it for development corporations.”
However Judith Armitt, chief executive of the Thames Gateway said the government had shown a “pretty unusual” commitment to the Thames Gateway by clarifying funding so soon after the Treasury’s comprehensive review.
The funding for development corporations was just one part of a £9bn cross-Whitehall package announced by Gordon Brown and the Thames Gateway Forum.
The package includes:
- A pledge to fund improvements to Junction 30 on the M25
- £200m to spend on jobs-related schemes, including the founding of three “sustainability institutes” to promote green construction
- Reviews of the 10 largest housing schemes in the Thames Gateway to ensure they are as green as possible.
For full Gateway coverage go to www.building.co.uk/thamesgateway